Written by Amber Lange ’20
The Gustavus Department of Theatre and Dance will present the 2017 spring dance concert, Between Heaven and Earth in Anderson Theatre on March 17-18 at 8 p.m. and on March 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available online at www.gustavustickets.com or by calling 507-933-7590.
The dynamic show will feature the works of faculty members Katy Becker ’02, Sarah Hauss, Jill Patterson and Melissa Rolnick. Michele Rusinko will curate the 4x4x4x4 Project – an artistic endeavor in which seven choreographers are challenged to work within the limits of a four-foot by four-foot stage. Senior students Samantha Heggem ’17 and Nicole McGuigan ’17 will also present works. These pieces were selected because of their stunning choreography from the student dance concert in December. Guest artist Dr. Kemal Nance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will premiere a new dance specially created for the Gustavus dance program.
Between Heaven and Earth showcases a variety of contemporary modern performances that have a considerable range in form and content. Rolnick’s work, piano music for a while…, has four sections, each of which is inspired by a different piece of classical music. Hauss has choreographed a dance that invites the audience to visit a bizarre world in which the performers interact in unexpected ways, both vocally and physically. Hauss will also be presenting a duet, I Was Also Removed, which features an introvert and extrovert who are seeking to find a common ground. This duet, along with McGuigan’s In This Space, will also represent the Gustavus dance program at the 2017 American College Dance Association Conference. Patterson’s piece, It’s a Fine Line, incorporates 20 dancers who are all working in unison to explore the complexities of conformity versus unity. Becker was chosen by the graduating seniors to choreograph their senior piece, and the students worked with her to help create choreography that symbolized a transition from fear to strength. Guest Artist Kemal Nance, a specialist in Umfundalai (a contemporary Pan African dance), will premiere Home Interrupted. An open audition was held during Nance’s master class, and seven dancers were chosen to learn the choreography during his weeklong residency at Gustavus. The diligent work of all the choreographers and performers of these pieces and more are bound to create a breathtaking show.
Rolnick and Rusinko are the artistic directors of Between Heaven and Earth. Student Claire Chwalek is working as the Stage Manager. Faculty Larissa McConnell and student Raymond Lee are the costume designers. Terena Wilkens will serve as the lighting and sound designer.
Visit the Department of Theatre and Dance website to learn more about dance at Gustavus.
Submitted by Amber Lange ’20