Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 1:10 am | Fair 65º


Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Dancers to Showcase ‘Blood, Thought, Muscle & Grace’

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance calls its annual spring dance concert “Blood, Thought, Muscle & Grace” — an interesting string of nouns — under the direction of Mira Kingsley, with costumes by Ann Bruice and lighting by Vickie Scott. It will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday in the Hatlen Theater on the UCSB campus.

UCSB dancers take to the air for their spring dance concert. (Philip Channing photo)
UCSB dancers take to the air for their spring dance concert. (Philip Channing photo)

“Blood, Thought, Muscle & Grace” features the choreography of advanced UCSB dance student choreographers Kelly Marshall, Molly McCord, Alannah Pique, Genevieve Hand and Sean Nederlof, folded together with a piece from UCSB faculty member Christina McCarthy, and one by American master choreographer Jose Limon.

The works on the program are:

» Submarine Races (McCord) is an “exploration of individuality that roots from a deep contemplation of the phrase ‘when you can fill yourself up to fullness you can overflow with giving to others.’ Through romance, competition and a little flare of the ‘60s pizzazz, the piece highlights five dancers’ paths of discovery to conquering self-doubt.”

» The Legend of the Form of Harmony (Nederlof) “follows the story of a Master of Harmony and her two disciples as we witness empowerment break a lineage and transform into chaos. Street dance blends with more traditional forms of movement in this inventive and theatrical work.”

» Requiem for Bubbles (McCarthy) “is a fantastical journey through a boy’s grief stemming from the death of his gold fish. In a world straddling wakefulness and dreaming, this boy, on the cusp of transformation to adulthood, lets go of his feelings of powerlessness and falls into the embrace of his own imagination.”

» Entropy (Pique). The choreographer, who is also a scientist, was inspired in this work by “the process of particles interacting and colliding.”

» Abyssinia (Hand). In this work — the name is World War II slang for “I’ll be seeing you” — the choreographer was inspired by the women of the G.I. generation,” and her piece is “a dynamic exploration into the origins of strength and hope when rooted in desperation. This deconstruction of Rosie the Riveter is an abstract look at a scenario that defined a generation and inspired a perpetuating movement.”

» And I gave myself to this wild hope that nobody’s really certain of, but I felt certain of it (Marshall). In this work, the choreographer began with Mark Twain’s quip that “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” She then quoted Twain’s remark to people from widely diverse backgrounds and asked them to respond. “Her new dance work, uses these interviews as inspiration to take the audience on a journey of searching for a clear path.”

» Suite from Psalm (Limon, 1967). This piece has been designed and reconstructed by Alice Condodina, and is performed by the Senior Company. “The suite, which is less than half the length of the original choreography, attempts to capture the essence of this powerful work. Limon’s flirtation with the force of gravity resulted in a choreographic work, full of impressive suspensions and dramatic falls and recoveries. For Psalm, Limon turned to the Jewish legend of 36 Just Men in whom the sorrows of the world reside. Psalm asks how the outcast or martyr evolves from those whose burden he carries. Limon’s structured movements are groupings woven together symbolizing belief, ritual and history, provide a stunning contrast of ensemble dancing with the extraordinary challenge of solo performance. The ensemble reinforces, by its untied power, the contrasting internal conflict, the stark isolation and anguish of the Last Man; the last of the Just.”

Tickets to “Blood, Thought, Muscle & Grace” are $17 for general admission, $13 for students, seniors, and UCSB faculty, staff and alumni. They will be available at the door or from the ticket office, at 805.893.7221 or 805.893.3022, or online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are his own.

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