35 years ago, the dance program at VCU was in its inaugural year. With a faculty of 3 professors and about a dozen students, a program was founded that would eventually become a permanent staple at the university.
VCU Dance will offer alumni a nostalgic experience this weekend. In honor of the program’s 35th anniversary at the university, alumni will be invited for a weekend of celebration. Along with former faculty and current students, they will watch shows and enjoy dinners.
The alumni concert will span over two days, it is called “CONVERGENCE: Alumni Concert 2015” and will take place on October 23 and 24 at 8:00 p.m. at the Grace Street Theater. Tickets are $15 and $10 for students, they are on sale via www.showclix.com.
“We wanted to celebrate that the program has been at VCU for 35 years.” Said Dr. E. Gaynell Sherrod, Chair of the Department of Dance and Choreography, “We’re inviting everyone who has been a part of the successful program back for the weekend.”
The concert will feature work by VCU Dance alumni spanning 25 years. It will involve a film excerpt by Monstah Black, a 1990 graduate of the program. His video is part of The Cotton Project, where he re-imagines historic imagery from black history and the slave trade costumes that use cotton balls as their main source for construction.
Adrienne Clancy, a 1991 graduate will also display her work, Catching Dreams, an original contemporary modern dance work investigating dreams, relationships, and communication.
Starrene Foster, a 2003 alumni, will present her work, Garrand: The Day the Sky Fell. In it, she portrays the painful remembrance of loss and the journey of healing. The solo is performed by Foster’s fellow 2003 VCU Dance alum and Starr Foster Dance Project company member Jordan Livermon Glunt.
Kevin Jones is a member of the class of 2008. His piece, Yalifu (the pelican), will also be featured in the concert. It explores the supports and constraints of cultural tradition to one’s own personal identity, particularly in light of relocation. It looks to beg the question: What does one keep and what does one throw away when finding home in another place? The piece is inspired by the migration of Garifuna from Honduras. It features a solo dancer and music from Honduras.
Recent work by 2014 graduates Johnnie Mercer and Rachel Rinehardt will also be displayed.
The work of alumni will also be on display during the weekend. An informal showing of alumni works will take place on October 24 at 2:00 p.m. Admission will be free for the showing, which will be held at the VCU Dance Center on North Brunswick Street. It will feature works by Margaret Allen (BFA 2011), Chloe Bowman (BFA 2013), Tony Colden (BFA 2008), Alyssa Gregory (BFA 2010), and Tarik O’Meally (BFA 2015).
CONVERGENCE is the third event in VCU Dance’s 35 Anniversary Season, it is presented in honor of professor emerita and department founder Frances Wessells.