posted February 11, 2014

Dance 40 in Final Production

Dance 40,  Hope College’s annual major dance concert, has resumed at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

The concerts will be held Thursday thru Saturday, March 6-8.  All performances start at 8 p.m.

The annual dance concert hits a new milestone as it marks its 40th year.  In celebration, this year’s program will bring back some popular works from the past performances, as well as introducing new pieces.  The college is also organizing reunion activities for dance alumni during the second concert weekend.

Dance 40 will feature works by faculty, including three timeless works by program founder Maxine DeBruyn, and senior faculty members Linda Graham, and Steven Iannacone.  New works by guest artists Anne-René Petrarca and Sharon Wong are also part of the program.  In the nine different works on the program, 65 Hope students will perform.

Maxine DeBruyn and Nicki Flinn are re-staging “Snickerdoodles,” an original work of DeBruyn’s which premiered during “Dance 18” in 1992. Exploring space, color, and shape, the dancers lead the audience on an investigative journey.

Linda Graham is revisiting “En Passant (captured in passing),” a contemporary ballet originally created in 2004. In “En Passant, Game II,” a game of chess becomes a metaphorical gateway to a story of mystery and eternal struggle.

“Unet,” by Steven Iannacone, is a study in form, shape, and design. The work presents beings in an isolated world engaged in an ancient and archaic symbiotic relationship.  Iannacone originally choreographed “Unet” in 2004 to honor the memory and spirit of Alwin Nikolais, founder of Nikolais Dance Theater, where Iannacone danced in the early 1970s.

Guest artist Anne-René Petrarca will present a new contemporary work which investigates the unclosing of an underground clan, “igniting the space with visceral strength.”

Guest artist Sharon Wong will present “Stories We Tell are Sometimes___________,” a new jazz work accompanied live by the Hope College Jazz Faculty Ensemble: Edye Evans-Hyde (vocals), Mike Hyde (guitar), Charlie Hoats (bass), Steve Talaga (piano) and Mike Van Lente (percussion).

Matthew Farmer will present “Ripples,” a reinterpretation of the siren characters from Homer’s “The Odyssey” transported to the deep south of the early 20th century. The piece follows the tradition of jazz by using gospel music as the impetus for re-envisioned contemporary movement.

Crystal Frazier will present a new high-energy tap piece with Caribbean flair.

Julie Powell will bring Greek mythology to the stage in her new ballet, “The Three Graces.” Powell draws inspiration from the Greek poet, Pindar, who wrote of three enchanting goddesses created to fill the world with pleasant moments and goodwill: Aglala, Grace of Beauty; Euphrosynethe, Grace of Delight; and Thalia, Grace of Blossom.

Angie Yetzke, in collaboration with her cast of five dancers, will present “Something that was on the way to Now,” a new contemporary work exploring loss and memory through abstract juxtapositions.  Yetzke, intrigued by the relativity of time, the body, and the mind’s differing takes on tragedy, seeks to validate “what was.”  Yetzke says that the piece, which is based on actual events, “weaves knowing and not knowing, reality and fantasy, humor and tragedy.”

The lighting and set design is by Erik Alberg, and costumes are by Darlene Veenstra.

The first annual faculty-choreographed concert, “Dance I,” was held in March 1975, the same year that dance became an academic minor at Hope.  The academic program became a major in 1984, and has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance since 1985.

The department of dance at Hope was recently honored for “creativeness,” selected as among the best in the nation in the new, fourth edition of the book “Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers.”

The dance alumni reunion during the second concert weekend will honor the department’s legacy, celebrate the present and anticipate the future of dance at Hope, and will include several opportunities to connect with faculty, former classmates and current students. Events include a master class with DeBruyn and a celebratory banquet. Additional information about the celebration is available at hope.edu/alumni, on Facebook (Dance 40 Alumni Reunion), or by calling the college’s Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at (616) 395-7250.

Tickets for Dance 40 cost $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for Hope College students and children 18 and under. Tickets are available at the ticket offices in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse (222 Fairbanks Ave.) and the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).  Both offices are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

Tickets will also be available at the Knickerbocker Theatre on performance nights directly proceeding the performance time.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.