Drama and Dance Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts

Fall Dance Features Limón’s “Psalm”

Photo by Johan Elbers

A suite from Psalm, a dance originally choreographed by José Limón in 1967, will be performed as part of the Fall Dance Concert presented by Hofstra University’s Dance Program, Thursday through Sunday, November 29-December 2. Limón (1908-1972) was praised by The New York Times as the “finest male dancer of his time.” He created Psalm as a tribute to the Jews who died in World War II.

Restaged by Adjunct Professor Pablo Francisco Ruvalcaba, a former dancer with the Limón Dance Company, the dance is based on the ancient tradition that the sorrows of the world rest with 36 “Just Men,” (in Hebrew, Lamed-Vov). These men are ordinary mortals who are unaware of their station. It is believed that if even one of them were to go missing or stop being righteous, mankind would perish. This dance is the history of one such “Just Man” or, in this performance, a “Just Woman.”

The Fall Dance Concert takes place at the Toni and Martin Sosnoff Theater at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Members of the Hofstra community receive two free tickets upon presentation of a current HofstraCard. Tickets are $10; $8 for senior citizens (over 65) or matriculated, non-Hofstra students with I.D. 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 also be sold at the door starting 90 minutes prior to show time.

(Please note that free Hofstra community tickets cannot be purchased online – they can be picked up at the Box Office.)

Other featured dances:

Journey Hof18 is a fun and energetic piece in abstract form using repetitive, unified, athletic, funky and very technical movement to play with the definition of what the word journey is: “an act of traveling from one place to another.” Guest choreographer Fredrick Earl Mosley uses this idea to produce interesting tensions between all the dancers and, at times, between the dancers and the audience.

Elemental, by faculty member Rachel List, is a new piece choreographed to Dance, a concerto for violin, piano and strings by Oliver Davis. Each movement of the concerto suggests a different movement quality. The dancers seem to be blown about in the first section (Wind), supported by a more liquid environment in the second section (Water) and moving with a more solid, grounded feeling in the third section (Earth).

Adjunct faculty member Catherine Murphy has created a tribute to music and dance icons who have passed on, leaving this world a much brighter place. Tribute uses jazz dance to display hope, love and the joy of dancing to great music, performed by artists including Aretha Franklin, David Bowie and Prince, among others.

Guest choreographer William Isaac writes: “Last Call is a term usually heard at the end of the evening at a bar, restaurant or club right before closing. As I’ve gotten older, hearing this term feels more like the time right before a transition or some form of transformation. In this new work, I reflect on moments from my younger years when I begged for divine intervention to help me grow into a better version of myself. This new piece asks the dancers to reach back to memories during similar transformative periods in their lives.”

Adjunct faculty member and choreographer Karla Wolfangle contributes a dance from her repertory for nine dancers in the Junior class. The title of the piece is The Concert and the music is Sylvia McNair singing Handel’s aria: Silete venti. The piece was inspired by John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X.

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. Hofstra’s dance degrees include a BFA in Dance, a BA in Dance, and a BS in Education, Dance Education.

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