IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Spring Spotlights CU-Boulder Theatre & Dance
Spring semester is a busy time of year for the CU-Boulder Theatre & Dance department. Along with the annual Danceworks production that took place earlier this month, NeXus, also a major dance production of the school year, occurs in April.
Danceworks is composed of CU-Boulder Theatre & Dance faculty, as well as guest choreographers. The annual Danceworks production began March 11 and ran through the 14th. This year’s production, “Vision,” was a diverse mixture of performances from CU-Boulder faculty members Nada Diachenko, Michelle Ellsworth, Gabriel Masson, and Onye Ozuzu. Special guests included Rennie Harris, Kathleen Hermsdorf, and David Capps.
Among the different choreographed works was Ozuzu’s “Love Being Song,” an original structural and innovational piece that included nine women and represents her own unique style. “This is the fourth such piece I have generated, and it represents a distinct creative focus within my work and research agenda,” said Ozuzu. “I have been interested in drawing from my roots in West African dance and music, Free-House Style dancing, and other social and club forms to develop a contemporary dance performance that reflects their philosophical, organizational, and socio- political values.”
Guest artists Herris, Hermsdorf, and Capps presented pieces of all different genres. Herris brought his hip-hop style to the CU-Boulder audience while Hermsdorf presented emotional scenes incorporated with audio and visual information. Capps collaborated with faculty member Toby Hankin to demonstrate the journey of two travelers, while showcasing the skills of the two performers.
“All of the pieces showed vast talent and skill,” said Shaina Beaudin, a freshman dance major. “My favorite would have to be Hermsdorf’s ‘Stranger,’ because it was about how we deal and interact with strangers every day, and it had great partner work.”
While Danceworks showcases the CU-Boulder Theatre & Dance faculty members, NeXus provides a stage for the students. During the course of the year, Theatre & Dance students work to create pieces to be showcased in the NeXus production. Applications are accepted at the beginning of the year, and then pass through a panel of dance community judges. The NeXus 2010 showcase features professional choreographers as well as select CU-Boulder dance students. Solos, duets, and groups exemplifying diversity and innovation in style and form are selected each year.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to see what’s going on at CU in regard to dance,” said Jessica Pearson, M.F.A. candidate.
The Theatre & Dance department’s NeXus 2010 production will take place April 9 and April 11 in the University Theatre. Undergraduate students Sarah Bowers, Charlie Dando and DeShawn Marshall will be featured, as well as graduate students Courtney McGuire and Stephanie Tuley.
For more information on Danceworks and NeXus, and for a list of Maymester courses, please visit the Theatre & Dance website.
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