Featuring works by IU Faculty and Guest Choreographers
Directed by Elizabeth Limons Shea
This year's event highlights collaboration and connections between all three of Indiana University’s elite dance programs. For the first time ever, Contemporary Dance will partner with IU Ballet Theatre to bring legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp’s brilliant work, Deuce Coupe, to Bloomington audiences. The African American Dance Company will also join forces with IUCDT for an amazing display of skill and passion. With premiere choreography by IU Dance faculty Elizabeth Shea, Selene Carter, Stephanie Nugent, and Stafford Berry.
Home, choreographed by bold hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris, is inspired by the stories of peopleliving with or affected by HIV. Drawing upon poems and images submitted in 2011 to the Fight HIV Your Way contest, an initiative of Bristol - Myers Squibb, Harris created a compelling work that conveys both the chilling isolation and uplifting sense of community many experience.
A pulsing gospel house music score by Dennis Ferrer and Raphael Xavier propels the Company through intricate footwork and rapidly-evolving patterns.
This work represents the first collaboration between the African American Dance Company, housed in the African Arts Institute, and Contemporary Dance, both in the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University.
Last Good Thing (2017)
Choreographer: Elizabeth Shea
Music: Tristan da Cunha, by Nadia Sirota and Paul Corley
Lighting Designer: Naomi S. Gold
Costume Designer: Linda Pisano
Costume Construction: Anne Sorenson
Adriane Fang, Stevie Oakes
Part of a suite of dances titled The Rise of Otherness, Last Good Thing asks how can we, as a culture, implement and encourage a sense of empathy and “sameness.” Through unison and partnered movement that is grounded and spacious, a world of ease emerges. Last Good Thing
was recently seen at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, NY, and the X-Space Theatre, Adelaide, Australia.
This work is supported in part by an Individual Research Award and Collaborative Fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Studies, a Research Travel Grant from the College Arts and Humanities Institute, and a Themester Co-Curricular Programming Award, Indiana University.
Diva Redux (2019)
Choreographer: Selene Carter, with the dancers
Music: Sentimental Walk by Vladimir Cosma; aria from La Wally by Alfredo Catalani; Ave Maria by Franz Schubert, movie recording of Diva (1981) directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix
Lighting Designer: MacKenzie Van Tassel
Costume Designer: Jason Orlenko
Musicians: Paul Pisano, piano; Darian Clonts, vocals
Victoria Antonin, Cameron Barnett, Ella Berry, Eleanor Casale, Emma DeLillo, Faith Hagerty, Clair Leichty, Carly Liegel, Savannah Lucas, Jaylen Ray, Anna Rice, Julianne Rice, Gabrielle Schulz
“Two tapes, two Parisian mob killers, one corrupt policeman, an opera fan, a teenage thief, and the coolest philosopher ever filmed. All these characters twist their way through an intricate and stylish French language thriller.” Is how the eighties underground, cult classic film Diva (1981) is described in internet reviews. I based this dance on the events, characters and style of the iconic film, a favorite of mine since early adolescence. The dancers responded to elements of the film, and brought their own favorite films in to our process. I asked the dancers to created phrases based on their personal dance styles and favorite films. The queer, underground dance form Vogueing, and the practice of Color Guard both emerged in our process. I seek to honor the integrity of any form or style a dancer in my work may value and practice. Given my position of power as the director, and my status in the racial majority culture I want to create space for these styles to be celebrated and expressed, not appropriated or exploited. I thank the originators and practitioners of Vogueing, who were historically marginalized and often discredited. Including Vogueing in this dance seeks to honor the Queer, Black and Latinex cultures and artists who engendered Vogueing from the same era as the film. Special thanks to Jaylen Ray for sharing it as a soloist in this piece. Diva’s indeed.
Good Game, Yo! (2015)
Choreographer: Stafford C. Berry, Jr.
Music: The Star Spangled Banner by John Stafford Smith and Francis Scott Key; Summertime by Annie Lennox
Lighting Designer: Mitchell Ost
Costume Designer: Robbie Stanton
Vocal Performers: Stafford C. Berry, Jr., Kenneth D. Eaddy
Referees: Stafford C. Berry, Jr., Kenneth D. Eaddy
This dance was selected to showcase at the American Dance Guild (ADG) annual dance festival 2018, “Visions–Then and Now” in honor of Moderne Dance luminaries, Jane Comfort and Eleo Pomare on October 28th at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre.
Choreographer: Elizabeth Shea, with the dancers
Music: Lux Aeterna by Zbigniew Preisner; Dreams by Kronos Quartet and Laurie Anderson; World to Come IV by David Lang
Nachthexen (Night Witches), a World War II German nickname for the female military aviators of the 588 Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces, serves as a metaphor for women throughout the course of human history, quietly doing the work of the world, often unseen, and suffering gender-related discrimination and even abuse as a course of daily living.
Nachthexen was created in part from personal stories and experiences of the all-female cast; current events also make an appearance in the work. In the days of #metoo and #timesup, women and their allies continue to fight for fair treatment, to be seen and recognized, and in some parts of the world, for basic human rights.
Wrecking Orlando / Gender is a Concept (2019)
Director: Stephanie Nugent
Original Choreography: Stephanie Nugent in collaboration with the cast of Undone: Androgyne, Gender, and Humanism (2010)
Choreographic “Wrecking”: Toussaint Jeanlouis and cast members of Wrecking Orlando / Gender is a Concept
Lighting Designer: Kate Ashton
Costume Designer: Justin Michael Gannaway
Original Music Composer/Performers: Michael Drews and Jordan Munson
Original Text/Spoken-Word Performer: Jc Bitonti
Grace Beard, Ella Berry, Emma DeLillo, Maddy Grande, Maggie Hunter, Megan Kudla, Claire Longest, Megan Love, Sydney Poteet, Anna Rice, Sophie Schneider, Elaina Welch
Understudies: Madison Mora and Hannah Rae Wilcoxson
Wrecking Orlando / Gender is a Concept is a re-conceiving, in short form, of an evening of dance theater I created in 2010, entitled Undone: Androgyne, Gender and Humanism. As I reflected upon my previous creative process and resulting performance, I was struck by how the social dialogue surrounding gender had evolved over the past nine years, and decided to explore a creative method developed by choreographer Susan Rethorst, called “wrecking” a dance. “Wrecking” is a creative method developed by Rethorst in 1991, when she invited choreographer/colleague Tere O’Connor into her rehearsal process, to take over her dance, “changing it to his liking, imposing his own aesthetic with complete disregard for (Rethorst’s) intentions.” As he worked, she was able to observe her own work with fresh eyes. In this spirit, I sought to gain new insights into gender studies by inviting current cast members to create mini ‘wreckings’ of original material, and original ‘Undone’ cast member, Toussaint Jeanlouis, to assume directorship of my dance for one rehearsal. New collaborations in costume/lighting design, original music by MANA2, as well as original poetry by performance artist Jc Bitonti, also offer significant contributions to the re- framing and envisioning of this work.
Thank you to my colleague Selene Carter for your keen and sensitive observations during our process, to my wonderful design and performance collaborators for your inspiration, and to each current member of the cast for your humor, creative voice, and sincerity!
Deuce Coupe (1973)
Choreographer: Twyla Tharp
Music: The Beach Boys
Lighting Designer: Jennifer Tipton
Lighting Reconstruction: Megan Branham
Costume Designer: Scott Barrie
Costume Coordinator: Anne Sorenson
Premiere: February 8, 1973 The Joffrey Ballet and Twyla Tharp Dance Auditorium Theater, Chicago
Staging: Richard Colton with Shawn Stevens
Rehearsal Director: Shawn Stevens
Ballet Master: Sarah Wroth
Cameron Barnett, Mason Bassett, Corey Boatner, Reece Conrad, Elizabeth Corsig, Emma DeLillo, Belen Guzman, Natalie Hedrick, Corrine Jones, Amanda Hoover, Emily Kirchhoff, Paityn Lauzon, Jaylen Man, Sterling Manka, Murray McCormack, Céline Oberholzer, Andrew Playford, Andrew Rossi, Lauren Smolka (Friday and Saturday evening), Anna Lisa Wilkins (Friday and Saturday matinee), Cecilia Zanone
Deuce Coupe was choreographed by Twyla Tharp for the Joffrey Ballet in 1973. It was a groundbreaking ballet representing both a first major commissioned work for the legendary choreographer and the first crossover ballet, created by blending both modern and traditional ballet techniques.
This piece represents a collaboration between the IU Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department and the Contemporary Dance Department at the IU College of Arts and Sciences. It is danced to the iconic music of The Beach Boys, and a whirlwind of life and waves of energy are balanced by the ballerina wielding her intricate technical skill calmly throughout the work.