Partnerships a Hallmark for UO Dancers

September 25, 2015—The 2014-15 season of the UO Department of Dance’s concerts brought dramatic new works, compelling guest artistry, and cutting-edge scholarship to the University of Oregon campus.

Winter term 2015 saw the Dance 2015 faculty concert, the latest in an ongoing series of cooperative productions with the UO Department of Theatre Arts, representing a valuable point of collaboration between two of the university’s performing arts departments. One standout: Guest choreographer Michelle Boulé set her intriguing new piece “Light. White” on UO dancers.

Professor John Schmor, head of the Theatre Arts department, collaborated on concept and graced the cast in a comic role in Walter Kennedy’s otherwise-sincere group piece “Perfidia.” The dancers loved working with Professor Schmor, and even referred to a section of the dance as “the Schmortex.”

During winter term, internationally renowned Somatic educator and practitioner Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen presented a remarkable master class. It is not an exaggeration to say that students and faculty alike were entranced, each finding a new understanding of their body as dancers, teachers, and artists.

Now in its 17th season, the UO Repertory Dance Company is thriving! UO faculty and students spent two separate four-day spring residencies at off-campus sites, one in North Bend-Coos Bay (the 8th annual), and one in Central Point (7th annual).

UO dancers joined with North Bend High School’s company, Waves, in a joint performance arranged by local sponsors Sara Ekelund Slack ’98 and Kathy Morin ’87. It’s no wonder the pair was honored with the department’s 2015 Community Partners award.

Matthew Reynolds, the UO’s host at Crater Renaissance Academy in Central Point, provided UO dancers with many teaching opportunities, as well as two more collaborative concerts with his dancers. Two UORDC alumni, Megan Duling ’14 and Doug Hooker ’14, choreographed pieces for the Crater dancers (and were both subsequently hired by the Ashland, Oregon-based Dancing People Company), and Master of Fine Arts degree candidate Faith Morrison presented “Hatch,” which explored the interplay between species living in close proximity.