Pixel Tracker

Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 7:42 pm | Partly Cloudy 49º

 
 
 
 
Advice

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance Presents ‘Meraki: soul | creativity | love’

The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance fall dance concert will feature “Oh What a World!” choreagraphed by Cherise Barton, as well as five pieces by student choreographers. Click to view larger
The UCSB Department of Theater and Dance fall dance concert will feature “Oh What a World!” choreagraphed by Cherise Barton, as well as five pieces by student choreographers. (UCSB Department of Theater and Dance photo)

Listening to Rufus Wainwright’s rendition of his own “Oh, What a World,” choreographer Cherice Barton envisioned the songwriter sitting on a train or in an airport and putting pen to paper as he found beauty in the mundane.

Struck by the simplicity of the song’s lyrics and by the music that reached a powerful crescendo, she expressed her feelings in her own way — through dance.

That piece, "Oh What a World!" is part of Meraki: soul | creativity | love, the fall dance concert presented by UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Theater and Dance.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015 in UCSB’s Hatlen Theater. Tickets are $13 for UCSB students, alumni and faculty and staff members, and $17 for all others.

Barton is known for choreographing Katy Perry’s enthusiastically received appearance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the 2015 Grammy Awards.

She recently joined the creative team of America’s Got Talent as choreography associate following her work with George Lucas, choreographing Disney’s Strange Magic, by Lucasfilm Animation/ILM.

As a choreographer and creative consultant, Barton has a unique eye for transforming dance into inspired, emotional and visually stunning work, from the stage to the screen.

Directed by UCSB’s Christina McCarthy, the concert also showcases the work of five student-choreographers, four of whom are completing their bachelor of fine arts degrees. The other is completing a bachelor of arts degree.

“Student-choreographers, working in collaboration with student lighting and costume designers, have made bold artistic statements and created vibrant stage pictures as their pieces unfold,” said concert director McCarthy. “We are privileged to have an opportunity to see the rise of these young talented people.”

In "rumi_nation," for example, Sam Rose looks toward our inner thoughts regarding society and the balance of conformity versus revolution. She edited her own sound score using special effects noises and music samples to put the audience in the middle of a chaotic world of rote repetition keeping the characters insensitive to violence and mayhem.

The juxtaposition of benign typing sounds and car crashes strikes an eerie note of banality and obliviousness in the face of a world of tragedy. Her piece is quirky and humorous with the ever-present undertone of oppression and numbness.

The uniform-like costumes by Maddi Carroll further underline the prisoner/cog-in-the-wheel ​ethos of the work.

Veronika Cohen, working with timeless music by Django Reinhardt and the more modern 101 String Orchestra playing "Take the A Train," collides a modern movement vocabulary with 1940s period costumes, colorfully revved up and revamped by Kim Pecache with vibrant fabrics.

"Midnight Limbo" presents an eclectic world full of quirky individuals who bumble, fumble and mingle amongst one another in the dead of night. The story of the dance is dreamlike and rambling.

We know these people. They are both specific characters and emblematic of all of us; out on the town, looking for meaning and love, trying desperately to have a good time.

From sorrow to agitation to seduction, the individuals on stage will leave you both bewildered and amused.

Sunny Smith delineates the space of the stage temporally and physically as one performer alternately confines and frees dancers from carefully placed tape squares on the floor in her piece titled "Extinct Animals." 

The effect of having the confined dancers exhibit more freedom of movement and the unconfined dancers trapped in a repetition of static poses creates an intriguing counter-intuitive juxtaposition of freedom and claustrophobia.

The dance is very angular and layered with this motif reflected in the costumes of Maddie Berger, built out of layers of translucent and opaque fabrics. 

In "Con•Duc•Tiv•I•Ty," Rachael Oczkus creates a beautiful study of geometry and energetic connection with her dancers.

In costumes that are both free flowing and strangely tangled and contorted, the dancers often move in unison creating diagonals, lines and clusters in space that open to reveal pairs of dancers tracing the energetic waves emitting from each other’s bodies.

The piece is both clearly classical, with music by Bach, and strangely modern with random episodes of the dancers clapping as they cut through the space expanding and contracting our sense of how much space the dancers have to move through.

Shenandoah Harris piece, "Nefesh | Ruach | Neshamah," utilizes large fabric panels that differentiate the two-dimensional world of everyday life and the three dimensional space of enlightenment, awareness and connection.

Through authentic, emotionally raw and energetic movement, the dancers explore both the inner space of their minds and the spaces created around flowing panels of white silk, coalescing and spreading apart, revealing the duality in our lives of seeking our own truth and finding truth in our interactions with others.

The diaphanous and airy set design and stylized costumes by Ryan Howard help to create an otherworldly and transformative experience.

The choreographed dances are eclectic and strongly convey students’ unique visions. 

Each piece showcased in the Fall Dance Concert represents the artistic voices of the chorographers. Through technical, sophisticated and energetic movements their visions come to life.

With a wide variety of dance and beautiful costume designs the concert is sure to be eclectic and full of the creative spirit that is ever present in the UCSB theater

— Una Mladenovic is a community relations specialist for the UCSB Department of Theater and Dance.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >