Dance department to stage annual Winter Gala concert

Contact: Cara Barnes
Photo of choreographer Gabrielle Lamb in the dance studio.

Choreographer Gabrielle Lamb with WMU dance students

KALAMAZOO—Two works from the Western Michigan University Great Works Dance Project, two guest artist pieces, four faculty works and three dances choreographed by students will be featured in the Department of Dance's Winter Gala Dance Concert, running Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 in Shaw Theatre at the Gilmore Theatre Complex.

Performance times

  • Thursday, Jan. 30, at 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 31, at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 1, at 2 and 8 p.m.

Admission is $20 for adults; $14 for faculty, staff, seniors and Partners in Dance members; and $7 for students. Tickets are available in advance by calling the Gilmore Ticket Office at (269) 387-6222 or at the door before each performance.

This year's program

Great Works Dance Program pieces

Choreographer and performer Peter Chu has created a new work, "One Sound Looking Back," that will be performed by 18 WMU dance majors. Mr. Chu is artistic director of chuthis, a project-­based contemporary dance company that he formed in 2008. "One Sound Looking Back" is set to music composed and produced by Djeff Houle specifically for the piece.

New York-based choreographer and performer Gabrielle Lamb's new work, "Ritournelle," is inspired by her reading of Jennifer Homans' bestselling survey of ballet history, "Apollo's Angels," "Ritournelle" portrays a quasi-personal account of Lamb's history in ballet. Lamb was awarded the 2009 National Choreographic Competition of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Grand Prize in Milwaukee Ballet’s 2013 Genesis International Choreographic Competition.

Guest artist pieces

Eddy Ocampo, a choreographer, master jazz teacher, artistic director of Forum Dance Theatre, and co-­artistic director of LevelDance has created a new work, "Linea," for the members of WMU's touring ensemble, Western Dance Project. "Linea" is the second commissioned work by Mr. Ocampo for the Western Dance Project.

Seattle-­based choreographer, teacher, artistic director of badmarmarDance, and WMU alumna Marlo Martin has choreographed her new piece, "look at me with your eyes wide shut," for the 27 new dance majors. The work expresses the myriad experiences and emotions associated with the concept of being seen.

Faculty works

"Ravenfeather" is a collaborative, contemporary dance work including music composed and conducted by Hartford, Conn.-based Daniel Morel, live musical accompaniment by students from the School of Music, costuming by Kate McKenzie from the Department of Theatre, artwork by RosaLee Ward from the Frostic School of Art, and choreography by Kirsten Harvey. Harvey's work is supported in part by a grant from WMU's Cultural Events Committee.

Sharon Garber has choreographed a new ballet duet, "Entrechat," which also features School of Music musicians Bradley Wong, clarinet, and Helen Lukan, piano.

Carolyn Pavlik has created a new modern dance, "It Takes Two," for 10 dancers. The piece portrays the complex nature of relationships within the simplicity of human interactions.

Blending various styles and genres of dance as well as drawing inspiration from other great works of art, David Curwen's "Working Memory," set to J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto in A minor, is a sprawling work. The piece is organized into three contrasting sections.

Works by student choreographers

Completing the program, senior dance majors Connor Cornelius, Jesse Hoisington, and Emily Rayburn have had their work selected for the concert. Cornelius' work, "My Hyphen," is an intimate duet illustrating her relationship with her father. Hoisington's piece is titled "A Biddable Breed," and Corey's work, titled "Promise," examines the rippling effect of a single broken promise.

For more information about the concert, call the Department of Dance at (269) 387-5830.