Faculty Dance Concert delivers versatile dance styles from UNT teachers, students

Isis Avalos
University of North Texas Department of Dance students rehearsed for the Faculty Dance Concert under the instruction of members of the Los Angeles based dance theater CONTRA-TIEMPO, which includes alumna Isis Avalos (foreground). Photo by Gary Payne/UNT
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 13:29

What: The Faculty Dance Concert, choreographed by teachers and students in the Department of Dance and Theatre at the University of North Texas. Students also will perform an excerpt from Agua Furiosa/Furious Water, a dance fromguest choreographer Ana Maria Alvarez, founder and artistic director of CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Artistic director for the concert is Robin Lakes, associate professor of dance.

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 11, 12, 13 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) and 2 p.m. Feb. 14 (Sunday)

Where: University Theatre, Radio Television Film and Performing Arts Building,1179 Union Circle, Denton, Texas

Cost: Tickets cost $7.50 for students, UNT faculty/staff and senior citizens and $10 for adults. Audience members can purchase tickets at the box office, which is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour before each performance at the Radio Television Film and Performing Arts Building. For more information, call 940-565-2428, email dat-boxoffice@unt.edu or visit the Department of Dance and Theatre online.

What else: Parking is free directly behind the RTFP Building Friday through Sunday. For more information about parking on the UNT campus please visit: UNT Parking and Transportation online.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The Faculty Dance Concert will feature innovative works – inspired by grief, love, Shakespeare and C.S. Lewis – choreographed by University of North Texas teachers and students and performed by dance students.

The concert, sponsored by the Department of Dance and Theatre, takes place at 8 p.m. Feb. 11, 12, 13 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) and 2 p.m. Feb. 14 (Sunday) at the University Theatre in the Radio Television Film and Performing Arts Building.

The title of the concert is "Encapsulated in Space," which captures the meanings, ideas and feelings the dances may conjure, said artistic director Robin Lakes, associate professor of dance.

"Some dances are comedic, others thought-provoking," Lakes aid. "Viewers can witness fascinating patterns on the floor and in space. And, because dance is an art form carried out by the human body, keen insights are offered into the human condition."

Professor Shelley Cushman will present Cinematic Caricatures, which are modern dances set to algorithmically generated computer music composed by the late College of Music professor Phil Winsor. The performance also will show earlier dances in the Cinematic Caricatures catalogue that were filmed by Ben Levin, professor of media arts.

Lecturer Teresa Cooper created A Severe Season, a contemporary balletbased on images of the raw beauty and grace that can be found in disasters, some of which were inspired by her husband's health.

Dance senior Jazmine Taylor-Hughlett choreographed the modern dance, In the Eyes of Kora, based on her thoughts on love. Dance senior Joseph Stevens' modern dance, Through Altered Transparencies, took inspiration from a quote from writer C.S. Lewis.

The concert also includes an excerpt from Agua Furiosa/Furious Water by guest artist Ana Maria Alvarez of the CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater in Los Angeles. Agua Furiosa/Furious Water incorporates Afro-Cuban, salsa, house and hip hop – and influences from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and the Afro-Cuban deity of storm, Oya – to portray the politics of water and race.

Eleven dance majors will perform the 20-minute piece they learned from two CONTRA-TIEMPO performing artists, including 2012 UNT dance graduate Isis Avalos, during their September residency.

"We always want to bring our humanistic quality to the work," Avalos said. "Who we are in our community, who we are culturally has everything to do with how we move our bodies as dancers."

Taylor-Hughlett echoed that idea, saying "the dancers are clear representations of the moving images depicted in the minds of the choreographers" – as reflected in the concert's title.

"All of the pieces take you somewhere," she said. "There is a clear emotional, unique tone of each piece, in which for that moment, I am encapsulated in the specific environment that the choreographer created."

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108