Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is a Dance Lecturer at the University of Texas at Arlington where she serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. She is also a member of Muscle Memory Dance Theatre – a modern dance collective. Danielle is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Arts and Humanities at UT Dallas, and her first book, The Politics of State Public Arts Funding, is out now.
Today through Saturday, schools from Texas and California will meet in College Station as Texas A&M University plays host to the 2009 South-Central Conference of the American College Dance Festival. Dancers from the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University, Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Dallas, various Tarrant County Community Colleges, Brookhaven College and Collin College will be participating in numerous workshops and master classes in ballet, modern, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop and Latin dance, and presenting their choreography for adjudication.
The judging is probably the most nerve-wracking part of the festival; it’s your work on stage for everyone to see and for a panel of some of the best choreographers and teachers in the field of dance to judge. It’s nauseating, but it’s exhilarating! As a choreographer who has presented her work before, and who will be presenting her work again, I can honestly say it’s the best way to get feedback on what you are creating.
What’s unique about this festival is that A&M has decided to include Dancers Responding to Aids (DRA) in the conference. They will be providing informational material to expose dancers to the organization. As part of the invitation, A&M will also donate 5 percent of their proceeds to DRA.
Additionally, A&M will present a guest artists concert featuring two incredibly talented Texas based dance companies. On Friday, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company from Austin and Hope Stone Dance Company from Houston will perform.
ACDF is the highlight of spring for every college dance student. The anticipation builds throughout the fall semester until the pieces and dancers chosen to attend are announced. Then, just as spring fever hits, so does festival fever. Here, all competition is exchanged for comradery as we all take classes and go to shows together. It’s a wonderful bonding experience with dancers from your own school, as well as with dancers from neighboring universities.
For more on this week’s dance events, keep reading:
On March 15, area dance companies will present their work at the 2009 Out of the Loop Festival at WaterTower Theatre in Addison. I’ll be here, on stage at 7:30 p.m., and so should you! Don’t miss out on the modern dance event of the season!
Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth, Leslie Dworkin, and Out on a Limb Dance Company – This collective show will present CD/FW’s interpretation of Twyla Tharp’s The One Hundreds: Phrases 1-100. When Tharp originally developed this dance in 1970, she wanted to address three questions she faced as a performing dancer: 1) How accurate is my memory? 2) How good is my coordination? 3) How strong is my sense of beginnings, middles and endings? Tharp created 100 11-second phrases to answer these questions. Combining imagery from traditional dance techniques, sports and popular culture, and all performed in silence, this series of phrases is like a series of short stories with a variety of references and entry points for different viewers.
Leslie Dworkin, of the University of Texas at Austin, will present her work, Nearer — a haunting duet, exploring the meaning of loss, issues of identity and memory, and the tension between letting go and moving on. This dance is a textured journey into the unknown; a journey most of us are afraid to take, yet yearn to.
Out On A Limb Dance Company presents a collection of new works, Visiting The Timeline, that evokes humor, reflection, dynamism and discovery. The first act will premiere a serene trio, “Counting Sheep,” as well as guest choreographer Rachel Bruce Johnson’s “Standing on the Edge.” The second act features a full-length work entitled “A Long Journey Home” that offers a personal perspective of a story through a series of relationships, events and interactions.
Tickets are $15. Buy here
Also on Sunday, Muscle Memory Dance Theatre presents Breaking News: Dancing with the Media, a modern dance commentary on the catchy, one-sentence sound bits of American journalism. M2DT’s choreographers weave together perspectives on news sources from television, newspapers, radio and magazines to blogs, podcasts and billboards. Breaking News is an evening-length modern dancework that examines the societal consequences of Americans consuming fast pace, info-tainment news culture to stay informed.
Tickets are $10. Buy here.