May 20, 2024

Styles Of Dance

Dance Styles Unite in Harmony

‘Dance Unleashed’ – Lamar University

3 min read
Dancers rehearse for “Dance Unleashed” in the Dance Annex, April 15. The spring concert is set for April 26-27. UP photo by Carlos Viloria.
Dancers rehearse for “Dance Unleashed” in the Dance Annex, April 15. The spring concert is set for April 26-27. UP photo by Carlos Viloria.

Lamar University’s department of theatre & dance department will present “Dance Unleshed,” their faculty dance concert, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and at 2 p.m., Saturday in the University Theatre.

The concert will consist of seven different pieces choreographed by LU dance faculty Amy Elizabeth, Amy A. Wright, Lou Arrington and Golden Wright, as well as two guest artists from KM Dance Project in New Orleans, Kesha Mckey and Catherine Caldwell.

Various styles of dance will be showcased such as jazz, ballet, modern, tap, ballroom, and a contemporary dance duet choreographed by Elizabeth, which is a restaged number inspired by her thesis project.

“The thesis itself is titled ‘A Choreographic Investigation of the Female Body Image through

the Lens of Breast Cancer,’” Elizabeth said. “This duet, for me, represents the potential for negotiating inside of a relationship, that idea of give and take when someone has an illness, someone becomes a caregiver, and how that can change and how that can shift the relationship.

“It really is about moving the audience, whatever that means.”

In contrast to Elizabeth’s compassionate dance, which plays on the idea of allowance and resistance, Amy Wright has choreographed a modern dance piece titled, “Threshold” about Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, which she choreographed based on a feeling.

“It’s this idea of a group of people who have come through something together and have arrived in a new space, and it’s very environmental, very atmospheric,” she said.

Her other dance is a jazz piece called “On 10th,” which is a reimagined dance of slavery and 10th Avenue, a former slave cemetery in Inwood, Manhattan.

Dancers rehearse for “Dance Unleashed” in the Dance Annex, April 15. UP photo by Kami Greene.

Dancers rehearse for “Dance Unleashed” in the Dance Annex, April 15.

UP photo by Kami Greene.

“It’s very old Hollywood,” Wright said. “It’s really just kind of playing with the idea of dance as a visual representation of musicality, kind of like a tone poem, almost. So, it’s very abstract, but kind of this marriage of ballet and mid-century jazz and modern dance and different things.”

The faculty members are not the only ones who play a part in choreographing the show. The dancers also play a part in creating the work, Wright said.

“I feel like coming into rehearsal is a fun process, because we play around with different movements,” Houston senior Adamari Lopez said. “Ms. Amy, she’s like ‘Oh, I like that, put it in.’”

The dancers practice weekly for three to four months, some spending 12 hours a day not only working to perfect their dance, but also working to perfect telling a story through movement.

“(Rehearsals) have been very time-consuming, but they’ve been really fun,” Katy senior Sara Barboza said. “These are all different styles, and it has been very interesting to get to do all of them at the same time.”

Being a part of the dance concert has allowed the dancers to break out of their comfort zones and try something new.

“I have enjoyed being in the tap this semester because it’s given me a chance to really enjoy tap, because when I first got here, I didn’t know how to tap,” Houston senior Tranisha McClyde said. “Now that I’m here and I’m tapping, it feels comfortable. I feel at home. I feel like I learned a new skill that I’m going to keep forever and keep doing.”

Tickets for “Dance Unleashed” are $5 for Children (12 and under) and THDA Alumni, $7 for LU/LIT students, $10 for senior citizens or non-LU students and LU/LIT faculty and staff, and $15 for general admission.

Tickets are available at lamar.edu/lutdtix.

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