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Spring in Their Step

Photo by Johan Elbers
Photo by Johan Elbers

Annual Spring Dance Concert, April 20-23

German techno music, New York City’s commuting scene and a Native American myth are among the inspirations for the Annual Spring Dance Concert presented by Hofstra University’s Dance Program. Performances take place at the Schaeffer Black Box Theater, April 20-23, 2017. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are $12; $10 for senior citizens (over 65) or matriculated, non-Hofstra students with I.D. Members of the Hofstra community may receive up to two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. For tickets call the Hofstra Box Office at 516-463-6644 Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3:45 p.m. or purchase online at Hofstratickets.com. If available, tickets will be sold at the door by cash or check only, starting 90 minutes prior to show time.

Hofstra faculty choreographers include Anita Feldman, Robin Becker, Robbie Cook and Heather Waldon, and guest choreographers Adam Barruch and Fredrick Earl Mosley. Barruch has been performing since he was a youth on Broadway, film and television. He currently creates and performs work under the epithet of his own company, Anatomiae Occultii. He is working on a new interpretation of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Mosley is the founder and artistic director of the not-for-profit Diversity of Dance, Inc. (founded in 1998) and its programs: Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts (EMIA) and Hearts of Men (HOM). EMIA is celebrating its 12th season as one of the nation’s leading new summer intensives serving over 175 students annually. In 2014, HOM launched its very successful inaugural season as a summer intensive serving over 50 male dancers of all ages in an intergenerational community of brotherhood through dance.

The Hofstra Spring Dance Concert is dedicated to the memory of Megan (Shaw) Martin ’07, a dance major who passed away in 2016. She danced in the 2007 staging of Professor Anita Feldman’s “City Scraped.”

The Spring Concert dances include:

Rituals, choreographed by Hofstra’s newest full-time dance professor, Robbie Cook. “The original intention for my piece was to use German techno music and choreograph with the tools of contemporary dance rather than to use the dancing one would do in a nightclub. As far as reference, I’m examining the idea of ancient permutations of rituals that influenced pieces such as ‘Rite of Spring,’ but my jumping off point was dancing as a more modern form of ‘ritual.’”

Weaving, a work for three women, choreographed in 1992 by faculty member Robin Becker, was inspired by a Native American myth about the Spider Woman’s journey to bring the gift of life-sustaining fire to the earth. Robin was interested in exploring the feminine aspects of strength, courage, collaboration, and sacrifice demonstrated in the ancient story.

Love Songs is the second piece restaged on Hofstra dance majors by guest choreographer Fredrick Earl Mosley. Performed to songs recorded by Cindy Lauper, the piece evokes the various moods and attachments of couples in relationships.

Regarding her piece titled 10:18, faculty member Heather Waldon writes: “Recently I’ve been listening to Steve Reich’s Different Trains recorded by the Kronos Quartet. Reich creates a sense of harmony with the weaving of spoken word and string instrumentation. I found the driving sound influenced me in choreographing this abstract dance.”

Guest choreographer Adam Barruch has created Lux Aeterna to music of the same name by composer György Ligeti.  The piece references shamanism and spell castings.

A photo from the 2007 staging of "City Scraped". Photo credit: Johan Elbers.
A photo from the 2007 staging of “City Scraped”. Photo credit: Johan Elbers

The 1991 tapping music piece City Scraped, by choreographer Anita Feldman and composer Guy Klucevsek, premiered at Dance Place in Washington D.C. It was inspired by Anita’s move from New York City to Long Island and by her first commuting experiences. Expanded in 2007 for Hofstra dancers, City Scraped is a loving look at the often funny, sometimes rude and always surprising New York City commuting scene, with “street” music composed by Arthur Solari and Sam Sadigursky, excerpts by Guy Klucevsek and contributions by Ryan Wolfe. Solari and Wolfe will perform the music live.

The Hofstra University Department of Drama and Dance provides its students with the opportunity to develop and hone their skills as performers, and deepen their appreciation for the arts. This Fall 2017 Hofstra will offer a BFA in Dance. The program currently offers two undergraduate degrees: a BA in Dance, and a BS in Education, Dance Education.

About the author

Ginny Greenberg

Ginny Greenberg is director of public relations and an alumna of Hofstra University.

Email her at prpgse@hofstra.edu .

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