VCU Dance prepares for 35th anniversary season

VCU Dance department students perform at the Grace Street Theatre. Photo by Sarah FergusoN, Courtesy of Lea Marshall

Rebecca Frankel
Contributing writer

VCU Dance department students perform at the Grace Street Theatre. Photo by Sarah FergusoN, Courtesy of Lea Marshall
VCU Dance department students perform at the Grace Street Theatre. Photo by Sarah FergusoN, Courtesy of Lea Marshall

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of VCU’s Department of Dance and Choreography, the 2015-16 season will feature everything from an alumni show to a guest artist presentation in collaboration with the Modlin Center for the Arts.

The fall semester will bring a number of shows. The annual Dance on Camera screening, an evening of dance themed films combining communication arts, film, and choreography, will be on Thursday, September 10.  Then, on October 8, The Depot Gallery will feature Salon, an informal showing of new student work followed by a faculty-run discussion. The biggest event of the fall, however, will be the Alumni Concert and Informal.

VCU Dance has curated a show featuring alumni from as early as the 1990s and early 2000s.

“The alumni show is a way to showcase our history and show that we are always forward-thinking,” said Lea Marshall, Associate Chair of VCU Dance and Choreography. “The work is very diverse.”

The Fall Senior Project will close the semester with shows on November 19, 20 and 21. It will be choreographed, cast and produced by graduating dance majors and will feature VCU Dance students.

“(The Fall Senior Project) really shows off their creative abilities in addition to dance skills,” Marshall said.

In spring, the department will welcome guest performers to VCU for The Cultural Intimacy Project, a collaboration of VCUarts and the Modlin Center for the Arts. The first installment, FLASH, was created and will be performed by Rennie Harris and Michael Sakamoto. It is a blend of hip-hop and Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theatre, and is showing February 21-22 at the Grace Street Theater.

On February 23 there will be an artist’s discussion on cross-cultural collaboration and creative process between Spanish flamenco performer Israel Galvan, American hip-hop dancer Rennie Harris, Indian kathak performer Akram Khan, and Japanese butoh performer Michael Sakamoto. The second installment, TOROBAKA, will be at Richmond CenterStage on February 24. It is a collaboration in flamenco and classical Indian kathak featuring Akram Khan and Israel Galvan.

“We are really excited,” Marshall said. “We’re excited that VCU and Richmond will get to see the exchange between these very different cultures, dance forms and traditions.”

The 2015-2016 season will close with the Spring Senior Project featuring final works by graduating dancers from the department and will show April 21-23.

For more information of the 35th Anniversary Season of VCU dance, visit their website.

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