KU News Release

Nov. 3, 2010
Contact: Kristi Henderson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, (785) 864-3663

Dance and music ensembles to perform together

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas ensembles will join forces for an evening of music and dance.

The University Dance Company/University Symphony Orchestra Fall Concerts will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 18 and 19, at the Lied Center. A reception will follow the Nov. 18 performance in the Seymour Gallery of the Lied Center.

The performances are dedicated to Janet Hamburg, professor of dance and an internationally known movement analyst and lecturer who passed away Sept. 4.

The concerts will feature faculty choreography set to works by Gabriela Lena Frank (a 2009 Latin Grammy Award winner), George Frideric Handel, Aram Khatchaturian and Franz von Suppé, conducted by David Neely, director of orchestral activities. The concerts will also feature a new flamenco work by guest artist Melinda Hedgecorth of Seville, Spain.

Hedgecorth’s “La Vida (Life),” set to two songs from Spain, deals with life, death and love. The first song is a traditional toná recorded by Miguel Poveda. One of the most revered young singers in Spain today, Poveda is part of a generation that resurrects historic flamenco forms in contemporary performance. The second song, “Inténtalo Encontrar (Try to Find It),” is a bulerías by Mayte Martín, described as “the best female flamenco voice of her generation” by flamenco expert and journalist Ángel Álvarez Caballero. The 10 dancers use a combination of flamenco and modern dance to express hope, disappointment and the ability to find beautiful moments, even when surrounded by darkness.

In “Masquerade,” a ballet by former Joffrey Ballet principal dancer and KU associate professor of dance Jerel Hilding, a carnivalesque cast of 22 men and women dance to three pieces from Aram Khatchaturian’s popular “Masquerade Suite.” The dance begins with a darkly ebullient waltz, followed by a forlorn romance and concludes with a frenzied galop.

The solo “Winsome Wench,” a witty takeoff on the silent film era, reveals KU professor of dance Patrick Suzeau’s comic dimensions as a performer. Combining the virtues of mime and dance, the piece by guest choreographer Meli Kaye is set to von Suppé’s “Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna.”

Set to the music of George Frideric Handel’s elegant but energetic “Concerto Grosso in B-flat, Op. 3, No. 2,” KU lecturer in dance Willie Lenoir’s “Concerto à Huit” explores the spatial relationships among eight dancers. In a postmodern revision of the Baroque dance composition, Lenoir uses flowing costumes, diverse turns and arm gestures and an exploration of the interactions between individuals and groups to reinterpret the music in a contemporary moment.

“Spill” is a work in seven movements set to the composition “La Llorona” for solo viola and orchestra by award-winning composer Gabriela Lena Frank and co-choreographed by KU associate professor of dance Muriel Cohan and Suzeau. The third collaboration between the three artists, the piece confronts, satirizes and mourns the effects of the gulf oil spill on the planet and on the psyche. KU professor Peter Chun will be the viola soloist.

Tickets are on sale for $15 for the public, $10 for students, senior citizens 62 and older and group sales. KU students are eligible for a $5 advance purchase price before the day of the show. Call (785) 864-2787 or visit the Lied Center and Murphy Hall box offices for tickets.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

kunews@ku.edu | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045

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