The Wright State University Dance Ensemble will feature five premiere works including dynamic pieces by three renowned guest choreographers and university dance faculty members at its virtual Spring Dance Concert 2021.
The online concert will be available on-demand beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 16, through midnight on Tuesday, April 20.
Tickets to watch the concert cost $10 (plus fees) and can be purchased at showtix4u.com/event-details/50536. Tickets must be purchased before midnight on Sunday, April 18.
The works featured in the concert were created through Zoom rehearsals, site-specific and studio filming, and three-week-long residencies — all observing COVID precautions and regular testing.
The Dance Ensemble will premiere “She/Her” by guest choreographer Ray Mercer, an innovative director and choreographer in New York City. Mercer said he created “She/Her” to celebrates women.
“I was inspired by the strength, power, vulnerability and clarity that women possess. Ultimately when a woman walks into a space, she brings more than her pronouns,” he said.
In his 17th year as a dancer and fight captain in Disney’s “The Lion King” on Broadway, Mercer has performed in projects with Garth Fagan, George Faison, Aretha Franklin, Kevin Iega Jeff, Louis Johnson and Rod Stewart.
The ensemble will also premiere “Bloom,” by regional and national choreographer Ashley Pabst. She describes the piece as a contemporary ballet that illustrates how people experience the passage of time.
“A moment in time where we face intense challenges together while also feeling so far apart,” Pabst said. “Our transformation is not always loud, but the journey is profound.”
The concert will feature the premiere of “The Golden Ratio” by guest choreographer and teacher Gregory Robinson. The presence of the golden ratio, which is also known as the divine proportion, in the “natural world shows us that there are far more curves and spirals in evidence than only straight lines,” Robinson said. “This elegant idea was the inspiration for this work.”
Gina Walther, associate professor of dance, will debut “Ebb and Flow.”
“This past year has been punctuated by huge shifts and loss of rhythmical patterns; things have fluctuated rapidly,” she said. “This piece explores how we have all ebbed and flowed in our quest to stay connected as humans and communities.”
The Dance Ensemble will also perform Walther’s “Pull,” a modern dance work with music by composer Ezio Bosso. The piece describes the “building of tension in movement and in relationships and how we sometimes feel pulled apart,” Walther said.
The ensemble will present “Visual Voices” by Teressa Wylie McWilliams, professor and head of dance. She describes the work as a “visual canvas of images reflecting the push and pull of life’s dynamics that balance between constraint and freedom, all set to the driving rhythms of Afro Celt Sound System.”
The Spring Dance Concert will also showcase rehearsal excerpts from 2020 guest choreographer Christian Denice, a 2021 adjudicated senior work by KC Lyphout and the 2020 adjudicated senior work by Jacob Shade.
Other spring Theatre, Dance and Motion Picture productions
- Big Lens Film Festival, April 22 at 5:30 and 8 p.m.: Drive-in showings at the Dixie Twin Drive-In
- Parking Lot Fringe Festival, April 24–25: In-person performance festival outside the Creative Arts Center and parking lot
- “Fugitive Songs,” April 30–May 2: Online contemporary musical theatre