IU Contemporary Dance takes the stage with The 2018 Winter Dance Concert: Bodies of Light. An annual event, this year’s concert will highlight dance’s unique ability to bring awareness to societal issues and elevate the human condition. Experience an evening filled with the raw power of dance, infused with originality, thoughtfulness, and beauty.
Bodies of Light will feature new choreography by faculty as well as esteemed guest artists. Featured guest choreography includes Bill T. Jones’s iconic D-Man in the Waters, one of the first works to address the AIDS crisis, and Stefanie Batten Bland’s Germe, a gorgeous fusion of movement and visual design. Choreography by IU Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance faculty, including Elizabeth Limons Shea, Stafford C. Berry Jr., Selene Carter, Nyama McCarthy-Brown, and Stephanie Nugent will round out the evening.
D-Man in the Waters was choreographed by Bill T. Jones in 1989, when the AIDS panic was reaching its peak. D-Man celebrates the resilient spirit of Jones’ friend and dancer Demian Acquavella, who had contracted AIDS. In his 1995 book, Last Night on Earth, Jones shares his inspiration for the piece, “I had a daydream, I had a vision…I saw Demian and a myriad of friends, living and dead, in a body of water. Perhaps it was a lake as vast as the ocean, a lake emptied by a vast and unforgiving waterfall. This company of people was struggling against the current.”
Stefanie Batten Bland’s Germe is another featured guest piece. Germe represents the moment just before an idea takes hold. In a December 2012 online postcard on dance-enthusiast.com, Bland describes the meaning behind her choreography, “Germe is the beginning of something...The bulb of an idea, from a petri dish, or a light going off in one's head. It is the germ before we deem it negative or positive.” Germe is an experience that redefines borders between the audience and the dancers. The piece is sometimes presented in non-traditional spaces, as an art installation or performance art piece.
Healing at the Source by Assistant Professor Nyama McCarthy-Brown is an original creative work about water protection. Motivated by current events around the Keystone Pipeline; Flint, Michigan; and now Puerto Rico, water is represented as an endangered resource. In Healing at the Source the audience is taken on a journey with a storyteller and dancers embodying Orishas, spiritual energies from an ancient religion.
The Gorgeous Nothings by Assistant Professor Selene Carter is an improvisational dance piece. The title The Gorgeous Nothings comes from a book of recently discovered Emily Dickenson poems, written on envelopes she had ripped open and refolded. Carter was intrigued by Dickenson’s process of allowing the boundaries and margins of the envelopes to shape the form and flow of her poetry. The Gorgeous Nothings is about confluence, economy of space, and how restriction and limits can give us freedom.
Hot Dust (Obscured Galaxies) by Elizabeth Limons Shea, Associate Professor and Director of the IU Contemporary Dance Program, features twelve dancers and is based on the rare quasars by the same name. The central black hole of these galaxies emits radiation which heats the infalling dust and gas. Some of the brightest galaxies in the universe, the density of the surrounding dust is so great that most of that light is actually obscured. In choreographing this piece Shea was inspired by how bodies move in space, specifically how movement, like light, might be effected in an environment of dense dust.
Lighting and costume design are provided by Indiana University MFA students.
WHAT: IU Dance presents 2018 Winter Dance Concert: Bodies of Light
WHEN: February 9 and 10 @ 7:30 pm and February 10 and 11 @ 2:00 pm
WHERE: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.
TICKETS: Regular admission is $20 for adults, $10 for students. 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu.
For more info and interview requests, please email:
Elizabeth Limons Shea - firstname.lastname@example.org
Selene Carter - email@example.com
Nyama McCarthy-Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stafford C. Berry, Jr. - email@example.com
Stephanie Nugent - firstname.lastname@example.org.