Dance Concert Honors K-12 Partnerships

April 9, 2015—On April 17 and 18, the UO Repertory Dance Company, composed of the elite student dancers of the University of Oregon, will launch its 17th 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 $10 general, $5 for students and seniors, available at the door or in advance from the UO Ticket Office in McArthur Court (EMU South), 541-346-4363. 
A centerpiece work for this year’s UORDC is “Muse: Longing and Belonging,” dedicated to the memory of Mary Bonasera Matthews (1953-2005), who led the dance program at North Bend High School for seventeen years. UO Department of Dance Chair Jenifer Craig has collaborated with Matthews’ daughter Rachel, a dancer in UORDC, in creating the moving tribute, which will feature excerpts from Matthews’ choreographic and performance career.
Additional works by UO faculty members will include Brad Garner’s intricately choreographed “Except for One,” Walter Kennedy’s “Babel” (featuring an original composition by Music Director for Dance Christian Cherry), and the upbeat quintet piece “Rhythm Breakdown” by Shannon Mockli. Master of Fine Arts degree candidate Faith Morrison will present “Hatch,” which will explore the interplay between species living in close proximity. 
Two faculty dance pieces will address themes related to development and growth. Rita Honka’s action-packed quartet “Requisite Resolve” springs from images of how one pushes through daily life, while Jenifer Craig’s “Step One” (featuring original music by John Craig) will demonstrate how curiosity and encouragement move us forward from our beginnings. 
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 the department will present its Community Partner Awards to two UO alumnae, Sara Ekelund Slack ’00 (who majored in dance and exercise and movement science) and Kathy Morin ’87 (BFA in fine and applied arts, dance minor), to commemorate their continued facilitation of the company’s annual residency in the North Bend-Coos Bay area. This year’s coastal residency will celebrate the 60th anniversary of modern dance at North Bend High School, culminating with performances on April 24 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 13-16. As part of the Central Point residency, UORDC will perform at the Crater Performing Arts Center on May 15 and 16.
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.