UC Santa Barbara Department of Theater/Dance Presents its Annual Spring Dance Concert FREE | FALL

UC Santa Barbara Department of Theater/Dance Presents its Annual Spring Dance Concert FREE | FALL

UC Santa Barbara's Department of Theater and Dance offers a student-centered performance comprised of a diverse range of choreographic voices in our 2017 Spring Dance Concert: Free | Fall.

Opening the evening of dance, members of the UCSB Dance Company will perform Buffalo, a powerful work by Stephanie Gilliland. It is a high intensity athletic work that brings the dancers face to face with their inner strength and fragility. Gilliland, a seasoned choreographer based in Los Angeles, describes Buffalo as "a rite of passage, a love note to young dreamers, outsiders and artists on the cusp of adulthood."

Free | Fall features new, original works by graduating B.F.A. students Rachel Epling, Kelli Forman, Savannah Green and Olivia Maggi. Alongside our current students work, the concert marks the return of 2015 B.F.A. Alumna, Gianna Burright to restage her work- Anywhere I Can See the Moon-on select members of the UCSB Dance Company. This dance was developed as part of Burright's Masters thesis project at The Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance in London, England. Following a return to Europe, Burright has been active in European dance circles as a dancer and choreographer, and continues to set her work on students and dance companies alike.

Burright's choreographic process called upon creative collaboration rooted deeply in her emerging research and practice in body-to-body transfer. Making dance in such a way-which develops through the interaction and physical conversation between choreographer and dancer-coupled with a process of autobiographical reflection and documentation, reinforces the notion that the personal really is, political. A visual ebb and flow, the dance features subtle shifts and circular pathways that give way to a linear directionality evoking a call toward a shared desire for a sense of "home."

Rachel Epling is fascinated by the role of physical contact in human development, and her piece etched in us aims to explore the magnitude and power of tactile sensations and the physical memories bodies can hold, even after the passage of time. Through collaboration with her dancers, she has been able to create movement, which investigates both physical memories of the past and creates new bodily experiences as well.

Life in Cages by Savannah Green is an exploration of personal ego beginning from its discovery, transitioning into physical actualization, and finally resulting in decay. The piece reflects ideas of the self-importance that we carry throughout our lives until it is torn away from us in instances of rejection.

Olivia Maggi's piece The Breeders takes the audience into a world where there are strict governmental restrictions on reproduction. Carefully chosen young adults must better the community by procreating under oppressive clinical observation, and the refusal to do so causes them to be discarded from society. This piece is a narrative that brings up ideas of feeling trapped, transforming, and finding liberation. It also comments on gender and sexuality, and how the government holds power onto that.

In a personal response to the tumultuous state of politics, capitalism, and ongoing threats to the environment, Kelli Forman offers her piece towards the yin as a reflection of the power of art and community to engage such issues. She suggests that "Water is life and oil is death, but for some reason we continue digging up death, utilizing it towards sustaining 21st century life (or perceived human vitality)." Reflecting on such timely, vital concerns, Forman conjures this work as a call to arms, and spiritual reflection in the shape of a dance. The goddesses emanating our precious natural resources hear our prayers, and offer us a couple of wisdoms: 1) the perfect struggle of Yin and Yang will always exist and therefore function on the conceptual human realm; and 2) getting an actual hold of our subtle energies will allow us to authentically and passionately return to our humanity, love one another, and in doing so, save our planet.

Closing the evening, the Dance Company will again take the stage in a heritage work by a scion of Modern Dance, José Limón. In a flurry of quick, intricate crossings, entrances and exits, and complex division of the cast into small groups in precise unison, the dancers take on the Running Dance, an excerpt from Limón's masterful work, Psalms. A celebration of virtuosity and unity, this exciting dance caps off what will surely be an eclectic show celebrating the variety of talent amongst students at the culmination of their undergraduate study. With their creative research, offered alongside the work of an alumnus at the beginning of her professional choreographic career, and a beloved master of the Modern Dance canon, the concert is sure to contain something for everyone.

As we continue to grow and develop as a country in conversation with a continually expanding global society, we might look to those who paved the way for our freedom of expression and creation, as well as the vital need to celebrate our diversity and the richness of disparate intercultural world views. We carry our histories with us, and though focused on living in the present and dreaming for the future, we must also honor and learn from the past.


2017 Spring Dance Concert

Concert Director: BranDon Whited

April 13 - 15 / 8PM

April 15 / 2PM

UCSB Hatlen Theater


General Admission: $17

Senior, Child, Student, UCSB Faculty/Staff/Alumni: $13

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