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Variety of dance styles featured in graduating recitals

April 6, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Four senior dance majors at Western Michigan University will perform in their "Graduating Recitals," Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, in Studio B of the Dalton Center.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Seating is general admission and tickets will be sold at the door for $3.

The concert features the choreography of Alyson Assenmacher, Molly Brictson, Noel Powers and Jennifer Stulberg, all of whom are candidates for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Performances include ballet, modern and jazz dance styles as well as a premiere by guest artist Sherry Zunker.

Assenmacher's choreography, staged to the music of Kruziki Transatlantica Quintet, combines intricate pointe work and partnering with Latin rhythms and movement. Set in a tango bar, love ensues between a fickle young woman and a drifter who just happen to stumble across one another. She finds that old habits die hard as true love slips through her fingers. This highly charged tale explores a relationship filled with not only love and lust, but deceit as well.

Brictson's piece, "If You Want Something Done Right" is an exciting blend of modern and jazz styles performed by a cast of eight talented dancers. Athleticism and agility combine to form a swift and powerful movement vocabulary. Set to a blend of the ambient sounds of Nathan Johnson and Chris Mears and the syncopated rhythms of Brian Eno, the work explores the struggle between knowing when to take matters into one's own hands, and when to allow oneself to be helped by others.

"Security in Numbers" by Powers is a high energy fusion of jazz and modern to the percussive, driving music of Alberto Iglesias. Divided into three sections, a large range of movement is covered, from fast paced and energetic to slow and serene. The piece examines what makes people more content, being isolated or surrounded by others. While the work appears to develop around individuals, in the end, the ensemble becomes more powerful as a whole.

Choreographed to the beautiful music of the Ahn Trio, Stulberg uses seven talented dancers to help illustrate the idea of "rewinding" experiences to relive them differently, as if in a video. They may wish to experience it with different people, do things differently to change the outcome, or keep replaying and reliving it over and over again.

Guest artist Zunker, co-founder of the River North Chicago dance company and choreographer for Royal Caribbean International, premieres "and I think to myself." Set on the four graduating seniors, the piece journeys through the college memories, relationships, and experiences that have come to shape the lives of these students over the past four years.

Media contact: Nina Nelson, (269) 387-5830, nina.nelson@wmich.edu

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