March 30, 2016—On April 15 and 16, the UO Repertory Dance Company, composed of elite student dancers of the University of Oregon, will launch its 18th season, presenting culminating works of the academic year with the company’s annual “at home” concert on the UO campus. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. both evenings in the Dougherty Dance Theatre on the third floor of the Gerlinger Annex on the UO campus.
Tickets are $12 general, $8 for students and seniors, available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office in McArthur Court (EMU South), 541-346-4363 or tickets.uoregon.edu.
The company is composed of select dance students through an application process that considers performance strengths and academic standing. The concert’s dance pieces will include a varied repertory by UO faculty and guest artists. Images and themes will range among thoughtful considerations of womanhood, subtle intimacy, baroque flourishes, jazz soul, and hard-hitting athleticism.
A centerpiece work for this year’s UORDC is “Song of the Woman,” a 1983 solo piece by 20th century modern dance pioneer Bella Lewitzky in honor of the centennial of Lewitzky's birth this year. UO faculty choreographer Walter Kennedy is one of three people authorized by Lewitzky to restage her work. He restaged the piece for the department’s Dance 2016 faculty concert, to rave reviews. Set to an original score by Larry Attaway, the music will be performed live by UO music faculty and students in a truly exciting collaboration between the university’s music areas and dance department.
Alumni choreographers Gina Bolles Sorensen and Kyle Sorensen, now the principals of the San Diego-based somebodies dance theater, have returned to the UO campus to set their work “Eyes East” on six UO student dancers. "Eyes East" is an equally sensuous and athletic work inspired by nine months of living between the serenity of the Mediterranean Sea and the terror of war in the Middle East.
Additional works by guest choreographers will include Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner’s "All Together Now" and A.T. Moffett’s technology-themed “Wire/Less: Form, Figure, Movement.”
Works by UO faculty members will include Brad Garner’s “Rococo Presto,” Rita Honka’s “Paul’s Peace Piece,” and Shannon Mockli’s "Knowing at the Skin.”
This year the department will present its annual Community Partner Awards to Denise Thomas-Morrow, a UO alumna, donor, and founder of Healthy Moves, a Eugene-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of kids through physical activity at school.
The UO Repertory Dance Company tours the state each spring, trips that serve as the primary means of outreach of the Department of Dance to the wider community. This year’s coastal residency at North Bend High School will culminate with a concert on April 22 at Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Hales Performing Art Center.
The company will also offer a residency at the Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point, Ore. May 12-15.
In addition to dance concerts, company residencies feature educational lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, and master classes for elementary, middle, and high school students. The residency experience gives dance UO students the opportunity to serve as ambassadors of the university’s challenging and innovative dance program.