Spring Dance Concert to Blend Array of Choreographers, Performers

April 24, 2012 / by / 0 Comment

By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau

GCU’s modern-dance ensemble will perform with artists from private dance companies and local colleges Friday and Saturday in one of the premier campus arts events of the spring.

The College of Fine Arts and Production’s spring dance concert, titled “@,” will take place at Ethington Theatre at 7:30 both nights.  

Ten dance pieces are scheduled to be performed, including three involving GCU students. GCU dance program artist-in-residence Keith Williams choreographed the final piece in the program, titled “Sweet in the Morning,” which is set to the Bobby McFerrin song of the same name.

Williams’ piece, like others in the Ethington Dance Ensemble program, shares personal expressions of faith and spirituality.

Guest dancers include students from Mesa Community College and the local Movement Source dance company. The concert will showcase a balance of performance by GCU students, professionals, faculty and outsiders.  

“It’s for recruitment purposes but also to showcase the spectrum of dance in the Valley,” said Susannah Keita, dance director for the College of Fine Arts and Production.

The diversity of the dance pieces in the program is expected to please a range of audience members. Musical accompaniment ranges from the alt-rock bands such as The Mars Volta and The Frames to jazz and electronic music.

Keita added that Williams’ piece brings a kind of a theatrical angle to the performance, highlighting for dancers the value of “investing in what the theme is, the intent of the work is,” rather than just “looking pretty” onstage.

“To me, modern dance is about the artist’s personal voice, and the only thing that limits it is what the body is capable of doing,” Keita said. “Otherwise, it’s boundless creativity.”

Antoinette Proctor, a junior dance education major, drew the inspiration for her dance piece from family tragedy.

Her 31-year-old brother’s death from a drug overdose triggered family upheavals that led her to explore her relationship with God. Proctor’s piece, titled “Long Suffering,” honors Christian women and shares an expression of how pain leads to inner strength.

Proctor, 21, said she has noticed GCU’s dance program attracting more attention in Valley dance circles, including community colleges. She said the growing recognition for the program helps motivate her.

“I love creating something and communicating something with the audience,” Proctor said. “I take a very personal approach to choreography.”

For tickets to “@,” the spring dance concert, call the Ethington box office at 639.8880 or email ethington@gcu.edu.

Contact Michael Ferraresi at 639.7030 or michael.ferraresi@gcu.edu.


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