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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Dancers to Cover ‘The Sky to the Ground’

Spring dance concert will feature three performances Friday through Sunday

UCSB dancers Brittany Amoroso, foreground, and Tenaya Cowsill.
UCSB dancers Brittany Amoroso, foreground, and Tenaya Cowsill. (Philip Channing photo)

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance — in somewhat tenuous connection with the UCSB Primavera Festival — will offer three performances of its annual spring dance concert, called this year “The Sky to the Ground,” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday in UCSB’s Hatlen Theatre.

The program, directed by Mira Kingsley, highlights Speeds (or a reconstructed excerpt thereof), a 1974 piece choreographed by the ground-breaking American choreographer Jennifer Muller to the original score composed by Burt Alcantara, performed by the UCSB Dance Company.

Also on stage will be Carmen’s Body, with choreography by UCSB faculty member Ninotchka Bennahum; MUUTOS, choreographed by UCSB student Sulijah Learmont; OneMomentPlease by UCSB student Lauren Serrano; It is Finished by UCSB student Lindsay Slavik; and Open Eyes by UCSB student Pavel Machuca Zavarzina.

As artistic director of The Works, Muller has been an influence and a shaker-upper in the dance world for more than 40 years. She has created more than 100 works, including six full-evening productions.

Speeds, the flagship of The Works’ early years, was based on contrasts of velocities and dynamics, and quickly achieved international fame. Clive Barnes wrote of it: “Speeds has such an enchanting sense of style and a genuine feel for kinetics and dynamics (that) it showed off the lively company at its finest.”

Muller has been in residence at UCSB off and on during the 2010-11 term and most likely will be in the audience for the performances.

Tickets to “The Sky to the Ground” are $13 to $17 and available at the Hatlen box office before the performance. Click here to order online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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