That’s amore! Fall Dance Concert falls in love

Photo of a full moon over water and its reflectionNIU’s Fall 2013 Dance Concert is all about love.

Opening Thursday, Nov. 21, the School of Theatre and Dance will present its first dance production of their 2013-2014 theatre season and feature performance pieces that present the many sides of being in love.

In order to more fully explore this complicated theme, faculty members Judy Chitwood, Paula Frasz, Autumn Eckman and Morgan Fogarty have choreographed a wide variety of dance styles, from classical to modern, to equally diverse music, which includes Frédéric Chopin, Tony Bennett, The Andrews Sisters and even Gorillaz.

The classical piece of the show, “Les Sylphides” is a short non-narrative ballet, originally choreographed in 1909 by Michel Folkine and set to the music of Frédéric Chopin.

Restaged by Chitwood, “Les Sylphides” is an abstract essay of a young poet seeking inspiration under the moonlight. He soars his way through a vision of ethereal, mythical spirits of the air, known as Sylphs. According to Chitwood, the work has a very dream-like feel to it.

“The ballet was quite revolutionary for its time,” Chitwood said. “Its choreography is deceptively hard.”

A modern trio choreographed by Frasz, “Sea Songs” tells a story of three widows who are waiting for their husbands to return from sea. It has been performed numerous times with Frasz’s professional company, Danzsloop Chicago. Frasz has described the work as, “sailors lost at sea and the women who mourn them.”

CupidThe concert also includes pieces that are not so serious.

“ ‘Silly Love Songs’ shows the trials and tribulations of love and loss in a humorous light,” Frasz said.

Set to the music of Tony Bennett, the seven section dance piece takes the comical position that being shot by Cupid’s arrow takes its toll.

“There is an underlying warning that love kills!” Frasz said.

Two of the faculty choreographers created new works specifically for the concert.

Eckman’s construction is presented in multiple sections, choreographed to several different songs, and also shows the humorous side of love. Set to the music of The Andrews Sisters and The Barry Sisters, “It’s Only a Game” is about friendships and relationships straddling the thin line between love and like.

Fogarty also choreographed a new work called, “Pendulum.” She describes the piece as one dancer’s movement serving as another’s cue to start or stop moving.

“Hence, the piece can fluctuate in time slightly,” Fogarty said, “but it always begins where it has ended, and ends where it begins.”

Fall 2013 Dance Concert runs from Thursday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 24 at the Huntley Middle School Auditorium, 1515 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday performance will take place at 2 p.m. This production by SoTD is not affiliated with DeKalb Community Unit School District 428.

Tickets are available online, in person at the NIU School of Theatre and Dance box office (temporarily located in the lower level of the Holmes Student Center, next to the Blackhawk Dining Room) or by calling (815) 753-1600. Ticket prices are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, $8 for students and $5 for children.

Box office hours are from noon to 6 p.m.m Monday through Thursday, from noon to 2 p.m. Friday (and until 6 p.m. on performance nights) and one hour before curtain times.

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