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University Dance Theatre Performs This Week

The Old Dominion University dance theatre program presents its annual fall concert this week. Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, at the University Theatre.

The concert will include ballet, modern, ballroom and jazz dance choreography by ODU faculty members Megan Thompson, Amanda Kinzer, Marilyn Marloff, Danny Charles, Joni Petre-Scholz, Jessica Page and Christina Yoshida. The dances will be performed by ODU dance students and faculty.

In tribute to modern dance icon Merce Cunningham (1919-2009), full-time dance faculty members Thompson, Marloff and Kinzer will co-direct a special work. Cunningham was known for his many avant-garde ideas, including the use of chance in the choreographic process, the lack of a narrative or emotional base for his works, and his collaboration with maverick musician John Cage.

Cage and Cunningham frequently created music and dance independently and then presented the two together in performance for the first time, adding risk and uncertainty to the final outcome. The dance to be premiered in the ODU concert was created using elements of chance - and independently from the music - and will involve the audience in determining the unique presentation of the piece at each performance.

Guest artist and adjunct faculty member Petre-Scholz contributes a contemporary ballet for six dancers to a dramatic score by Marcello Zarvos. The driving force behind the choreography is the fiery composition of this chamber work.

Page, also an adjunct faculty member and guest artist, presents a new piece with music by Freestyle. The piece is a tribute to the iconic 1980s silver screen dance flick, a funky jazz/hip-hop throwback complete with neon colors, big hair and lots of attitude.

Charles, a guest artist, will premier a ballroom dance, including tango, waltz, and cha-cha/hustle for 12 dancers. Yoshida contributes a sinuous modern dance for six dancers.

New dance faculty member Thompson will premiere a modern dance work that explores pedestrian rules and pathways. Incorporating familiar sounds from Hampton Roads, Thompson's choreography challenges the dancers to maneuver at different speeds to reflect the various restrictions.

Marloff, dance program director, contributes a playful trio, "Kinetoscope," to music by Ungar and Mason. The performance will also include a modern dance premiere to soulful blues music choreographed by Kinzer and selected student-choreographed works.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, through Saturday, Nov. 21, in the University Theatre, located on Hampton Boulevard between 46th and 47th streets. A matinee will be performed at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

Tickets, $10 for students and $12 for general admission, may be purchased in advance at the Arts and Letters box office, located in the University Theatre lobby, or by calling 683-5305. The box office is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also are available at the door one hour before each performance.

For more information about the concert call 683-3002 or 683-4354.

This article was posted on: November 17, 2009

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