Time to Soar: The Gustavus Dance Company in Concert

Posted on May 7th, 2010 by

Amalgamation, choreographers & dancers Jordan Klitzke and Nina Serratore

Amalgamation, choreographers & dancers Jordan Klitzke and Nina Serratore

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Gustavus Adolphus College is pleased to present Time to Soar: The Gustavus Dance Company in Concert. This dance concert, directed by Michele Rusinko and Melissa Rolnick, features an exhilarating and diverse range of faculty, student and guest choreographed pieces. Performances will be held in Anderson Theatre May 14 and 15 at 8:00 p.m. and May 16 at 2:00 p.m.

Showcasing the Gustavus Dance Company at its best is To Have and to Hold choreographed by Danial Shapiro and Joanie Smith of the Shapiro and Smith Dance Company in the Twin Cities. Set on the Gustavus dancers by Laura Selle Virtucio, the signature piece of Shapiro and Smith features three males, three females, and three benches. The engaging dancers move from bench to bench, person to person, embodying in the importance of every movement and displaying the vicissitudes of human connection. Senior Dance Company member, Katelyn Peterson, describes how the piece has required the cast to “invest whole-heartedly in the rigorous and demanding physicality of the choreography, the precise focus and intention of every moment, and the emotional commitment to the joys of love and the despair of loss.” Impressively athletic and equally as touching, To Have and to Hold is the ideal piece to present the devotion of the Gustavus Dance Company to their craft.

Divergence, a modern piece choreographed by adjunct professor Jeffrey Peterson, explores the segregation of a group and the movement conversation that takes place in an opposing conflict. Peterson uses harsh, angular movement contrasting with lyrical, expressive movement on his cast of sixteen Gustavus dancers in order to display this conflict. A Ritmo, meaning “the rhythm” in Italian, is a sultry, rhythmic, and energetic jazz dance that was choreographed this year by Peterson on seven Gustavus Dance Company members. A Ritmo successfully premiered at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis in the beginning of March and has since been selected to appear in Rhythmically Speaking, a jazz dance concert in Minneapolis this August. Divergence and A Ritmo display Peterson’s clear artistic intelligence in both modern and jazz choreography and demonstrate the dance company in two completely different lights.

Gustavus professor Melissa Rolnick’s Music for a While is a compelling assortment of solos and a duet with two group sections. This poignant collection is set to numerous piano pieces, including Frederick Chopin and Robert Schumann, and is a superb showcase for the seven female dancers. Opening the concert is Un Dia, choreographed by guest choreographer and former Gustavus faculty member Cynthia Gutierrez Garner. Un Dia involves twelve of the Gustavus dancers graduating this year. With a strong connection to Garner, these dancers have effectively embraced the award-winning choreographer’s ethnically powerful and athletic choreography in Un Dia.

The Department of Theatre and Dance has generously given the opportunity to selected outstanding student choreographers to present their work from The Choreographer’s Gallery: New Horizons, performed at Gustavus in November 2009. Of the selected pieces, Amalgamation, choreographed by Seniors Jordan Klitzke and Nina Serratore, and These Walls: who we are and who we may yet choose to be, choreographed by Senior Andrea Nelson, were also chosen to be performed at the American College Dance Festival in Stevens Point, Wisconsin in March. Sarah Jabar’s unique and lively Break free and Jill VanOsdol’s solo entitled Dissonant Grace, are among the other student choreographed works in the concert.

Time to Soar includes student costume designer, Rogert Croghan, along with faculty costume designer, Andrea Gross. Lighting design for the concert was created by Senior Kristin Mead and faculty designer, Terena Wilkens.

Tickets are available on-line at www.gustavustickets.com or by calling the Gustavus Ticket Center at (507) 933-7590. Adult tickets are $9.00, student and senior citizen tickets $6.00, Gustavus students and staff free of charge with ID. Tickets not purchased in advance may be purchased at the Anderson Theatre Box Office beginning one hour prior to curtain.


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