UT Theatre & Dance Presents TRANSCENDENCE

UT Theatre & Dance Presents TRANSCENDENCE

Under the direction of Charles O. Anderson and Andrea Beckham, The University of Texas at Austin's award-winning dance company Dance Repertory Theatre returns to the stage in Transcendence, March 28-April 8 at the B. Iden Payne Theatre. A celebration of life and legacy, Transcendence features works by nationally renowned artists, including Rennie Harris, Yacov Sharir, Madison Hicks, Andee Scott and Andrea Beckham, as well as emerging choreographers Courtney Mazeika and Ginnifer Joe.

"This concert is based on the phenomenon of transcendence: the 'transcendent' is that which transcends our own consciousness, much like both the scholarly and artistic work of Dr. Yacov Sharir over the span of his illustrious career," Charles O. Anderson, co-artistic director, explains. "It also captures the profound impact of Haruka Weiser upon our dance community."

Dr. Yacov Sharir, University of Texas at Austin professor emeritus, joined the Department of Theatre and Dance faculty in 1978. He founded the American Deaf Dance Company in 1977 and later, formed the Sharir Dance Company (1982), the university's professional company-in-residence through its final season in 2007. The company, later renamed Sharir + Bustamante Danceworks, introduced Austin to exemplary national and International Artists whose work had previously been exclusive to the larger markets such as New York City. As a choreographer and educator, Sharir is a pioneer in the use of new technologies, including virtual reality, intelligent fabrics and interactive systems in performance. His work has earned him prestigious fellowships from the Banff Centre for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to featuring Sharir's More About Love, Transcendence includes choreography from artists who have learned from and performed with him.

Transcendence marks the inaugural year of a celebration of the life and art of Haruka Weiser through a new work commissioned in her name. This commission is made possible through the Haruka Weiser Endowed Excellence Fund in Choreography, an endowment created by students, alumni and friends to honor Weiser in perpetuity. Weiser was a bachelor of fine arts in dance student at The University of Texas at Austin at the time of her death in 2016.

New faculty member, Rennie Harris' work, Resurrection is the first Weiser commemorative dance work. "Hearing about the death of Haruka Weiser struck me. My mother had recently passed...they seem to be a part of a long list of spirits taken from us far too soon," Harris explains. "Resurrection is about experiencing the moment - to live and remember the lives before and after you."

Harris, an internationally-acclaimed choreographer, has "literally embodied the history of hip-hop dance" (The Times of London) and is considered the pioneer of the street dance theatre genre. He was voted one of the most influential people in the last 100 years of Philadelphia history, his hometown, and has been compared to 20th century dance legends Alvin Ailey and Bob Fosse.

"We have the distinct privilege of presenting excerpts of Harris' compelling new evening-length work that has been commissioned by the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre," Charles O. Anderson shares. "We feel fortunate to offer a dance of this stature as our first choreographic tribute to Haruka Weiser."


Dance Repertory Theatre presents Transcendence

Artistic Directors: Charles O. Anderson and Andrea Beckham

Sextant by Andee Scott

Distillation Study by Courtney Mazeika

Heavenly by Ginnifer Joe

More About Love by Yacov Sharir

She Has No Shame by Andrea Beckham

Daring Greatly by Madison Hicks

Resurrection by Rennie Harris

For more information on Transcendence please visit JoinTheDrama.org


Dance Decoded

March 30, immediately following the 7:30 p.m. performances
B. Iden Payne Theatre

Guests are invited to join Artistic Directors Charles O. Anderson and Andrea Beckham and members of the cast for a brief post-performance discussion.

Chain-Ann Lu and Lawrence Peart, Courtesy of The University of Texas at Austin

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