IU Contemporary Dance 2017 Winter Concert “Roots to Wings” celebrates modern dance’s journey through the years

Dec 01, 2016

Bloomington, Ind –  Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance will present the 2017 Winter Dance Concert, titled Roots to Wings, this January in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre. The concert features nine works from both faculty and guest choreographers.

Director of Contemporary Dance Elizabeth Shea says the title Roots to Wings refers to the “historic journey of modern dance from its inception to where we are now”. The evening is bookended by choreography from two guest artists: the first piece, Spill, is by Andrea Miller, the founder and artistic director of Gallim Dance in New York City, NY. Three members of the company came to IU to set Miller’s choreography on student dancers. The final piece of the concert is José Limón’s iconic work Psalm, based on the 36 Just Men, a Jewish legend that every generation has 36 saints on whose piety the fate of the world depends. Psalm premiered in 1967 when Limón was dying of cancer, and although he passed away several years later, former company member Jennifer Scanlon,was able to reconstruct the work.. Scanlon also served as a guest instructor for dance students in the department while working on Roots to Wings.

Pieces from dance faculty include:

  • Twoness, a solo piece performed by Broadway dancer Gregory King with music from Miles Davis and Steve Reich, and Five Pillars, an exploration of the five pillars of Islam with the intent to bring greater understanding of the faith, both choreographed by Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance Nyama McCarthy-Brown.
  • The ragtime-inspired Josephine and Louise, by  Selene Carter, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Dance
  • A work by Iris Rosa, Director of the African American Dance Company.
  • Hunger Moon, which focuses on a community of women who explore their feminine (moon) and masculine (sun) energies, and features video projections by Xiaoyuan Zhu, and The Rise of Otherness, which examines society’s tendencies toward separation and polarization, both by Elizabeth Shea.
  • Finally, outgoing head of Musical Theatre George Pinney will choreograph the appropriately named Last Dance, elusive inspiration. Pinney is a long-time collaborator with IU Contemporary Dance and will retire at the end of the spring semester.

Roots to Wings combines both new and classic pieces in a performance celebrating the rich history of contemporary dance, and reflecting on where the art form is today.

WHAT: The 2017 Winter Dance Concert: Roots to Wings, presented by IU Contemporary Dance

WHEN: Jan. 13 – Jan. 15, 2017, Jan. 13 and 14, 7:30pm and Jan. 14 and 15, 2pm.

WHERE: Ruth N. Halls Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

TICKETS: Regular admission is $25 for adults, $15 for students, $20 for seniors (55+). 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu. For group discounts contact Abby Miller (millabby@indiana.edu).

For more information and interview requests, contact Amy Osajima at 812-855-0514 or aosajima@indiana.edu.