CONVERSATIONS Highlights the Best of VCU Dance
It’s that time of year again, y’all. Graduation is upon the dancers at Virginia Commonwealth University. This semester nine talented seniors showcase their capstone projects in CONVERSATIONS, a performance highlighting the creative strength of the students at VCU Dance.
The show opens with Samantha Williams’ At This Moment…Love Liberates. Emotional extremes of relationships are explored as the dancers’ move from aggressive grasps to comforting embraces. The swelling strings of Zoe Keating’s score compliment the dynamic movement nicely.
Were I the Wolf, choreographed by Richmond Ballet II dancer Gavin Stewart and skillfully performed by senior David Claypoole, takes us through the tumultuous journey of man to beast. This transformation, accentuated spectacularly by Michael Jarett’s shadowy lighting design, brings Claypoole’s animalistic gestures to a larger than life scale.
The racially charged BREAKing, created by Sanchel Brown, tackles the suppression of African Americans in the 1970’s. The dancers, dressed in an array of decade appropriate garb, enthusiastically hustle and bump to the tunes of James Brown and Curtis Mayfield. Confrontational dance battles cleverly contrast these cheerful moments as the dancers strive for acceptance.
Chelsea Jones’ Temporary Blindness uses the conversation of Saul for inspiration. Stumbling for stability the dancers undulate, rock, and crash into each other. Their crisp attention to detail and tender partnering is well crafted by Jones and intensely performed by the entire cast. Rachel Rinehardt and Tarik O’Meally ‘s inventively twisting duet captivates.
An Ode to the Powerful and the Powerless, choreographed by Charlie Maybee, attentively confronts confinement versus freedom, while Katrina Loheide’s Continuum explores the effects of energy shifts in the body.
Corin Illsley’s Escalating, Sho’ah by Jordan Conrad-Burton, and Brianne Evason’s Deluge pleasantly round out the show.
CONVERSATIONS runs April 25 and 26 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $15/$10 students with valid I.D. and are available now at Showclix or by calling 804-828-2020. All performances are at Grace St. Theatre, 934 West Grace Street, Richmond, VA.
Rebecca A. Ferrell, a native of Richmond, Virginia, is a dance educator, choreographer and performer. She is currently the artistic director of FDANCE, a project dedicated to her work as an intervention dance artist. Rebecca holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University as well as a MFA in Dance from Arizona State University. She is currently adjunct faculty at VCU Dance and is in charge of dance curriculum at John Tyler Community College. When she is not dancing, Rebecca is making cupcakes, breaking hearts, and obsessing over the color pink.
VCU Dance is heading into its 35th year and they’ve got quite a lineup for their 2015-2016 season.August 13, 2015
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