IU Contemporary Dance proudly presents New Moves, a concert of choreographic capstone projects created by the B.F.A. class of 2021. With performance and production by IU Theatre & Dance majors and faculty, IUCD seniors will share a delightfully varied and innovative evening of concert dance performance. New Moves is directed by Associate Professor Beatrice Capote, and the company of New Moves includes student dancers for IU Contemporary Dance.
The concert presents new pieces by the Contemporary Dance senior choreographers: Grace Xiu Mei Beard, Alexa Belanger, Eleanor Casale, Rhiannon Freimuth, Savanna Grady, Faith Hagerty, Corinne Jones, Chelsea Kummeth, Savannah Lewis, Carly Liegel, Claire Longest, Emily Ostdiek, Sophia Schneider, and Samantha Winter.
The concert includes a new work by Professor Beatrice Capote, Neither Here O Alla (2020), with the third section of the piece created in collaboration with the dancers.
New Moves also features choreographer Talley Beatty’s tour de force, Mourner's Bench (1947) with restaging and direction by Clarence Brooks, Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Florida Atlantic University. Mourner’s Bench was inspired by Howard Fast’s novel Southern Landscape, and refers to the tragic influence of the Ku Klux Klan on a mixed-race community in the rural South after the Civil War. The soloist asserts themself within and against the themes of oppression and transcendence in the highly stylized, gestural vocabulary of the piece. The dancer, “sitting on the mourner’s bench,” reflects upon the end of their community and the horror of its slaughter. The choreography is renowned as a protest work in response to anti-Black violence and is an emblem of the historic struggle for racial justice in the U.S.
As part of a year-long endeavor directed by the dance faculty, all B.F.A dance majors had the opportunity to engage in the experiential and scholarly study of Mourner’s Bench. On April 19, the students participated in a webinar featuring Dr. John Perpener, the preeminent scholar on Talley Beatty and Black Dance in the U.S., who shared his vast knowledge and led important conversations.
Lighting and costume design consultations for New Moves are provided by the IU Theatre & Dance Faculty and M.F.A students. For this year’s concert, IUTD faculty partnered with IU’s Radio and Television Services to film each piece in WTIU’s Studio 6 since the concert will not be able to be performed in front of a live audience. The filmed concert will be shared with audiences virtually via Zoom Webinar.