The combination of numerous hammocks, an Emily Dickinson quote and an Ybor-like club scene yields USF’s Spring Faculty Concert – Imprint. All the contributors agree the performance is eclectic, and the dancing style, the music, the mediums and the added elements vary in each performance to give each piece its own special flavor.
“The concert will be eclectic and unusual because it will feature two student choreographers and two guest choreographers, and such a large number of staff is contributing,” said John Parks, a lecturer for the dance department and faculty contributor to the concert.
His piece is a collaboration with Derek Washington, a visual artist and graduate student. The percussion-driven piece, influenced by DJs and the club scene, includes live and taped dancing along with vocal and musical accompaniment.
The concert will feature two student choreographers, Jody Kuehner and Amanda Lipsey, who are both seniors and dance majors. The spring concert usually only features one student piece, which is chosen for the American College Dance Festival, yet this year both Kuehner and Lipsey’s works were chosen for the festival.
Lipsey’s piece, “LaScÃ©ne,” is influenced by a statue she viewed in Montreal. Her choreography is group work that consists of 11 dancers.
Jody Kuehner’s solo, titled “Benched,” is influenced by her fascination with the sport of soccer and the comparison between dancers and soccer players.
“I played with the idea that soccer players aren’t viewed as artists, and dancers aren’t often viewed as athletes,” Kuehner said.
Adding to the nature of Imprint are the featured two guest choreographers. With the assistance of the John W. Holloway Endowed Chair in Dance and Theatre, the dancers worked with Gabriela Darvash and Gerri Hoolihan. Both guests are internationally known for their teaching and choreography. Each is also contributing their own work to the concert. Darvash will contribute a ballet and Hoolihan a modern dance piece.
“It was actually difficult to choose dancers,” Hoolihan said. “There are very strong dancers in this program, and it was hard to pick just 10 (for my piece). I am enjoying the concert a lot – it’s a great cast.”
When guest choreographer Hoolihan’s piece was originally performed and reviewed in the New York Times, it was said to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.
The student-performed concert features four pieces choreographed by faculty members, one being the collaboration between Parks and Washington.
Lynne Wimmer, a professor for USF’s dance department, is re-staging her 1992 work, “Flesh of My Flesh.” Her modern piece curiously incorporates hammocks onstage.
Jeanne Travers’ original work, “Precipice,” includes six dancers: three males and three females. A trio of females who lift each other are included in the piece, which contradicts greatly with traditional ballet in which only men lifted women.
Sandra Robinson, an associate professor who has been at USF for 20 years, contributed with a contemporary ballet solo titled “Tomorrow and Beyond.” It was inspired by the Emily Dickinson quote, “First the chill, then the stupor, then the letting go.” The piece is performed on pointe by sophomore Kristen Brown and will be accompanied with live music by Sebastian Birch, the music director. Rather than music or movement driving the piece, Robinson’s choreography is driven by emotion.
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