October 3, 2012

Jessica R. Pope, Communications Specialist

VSU Repertory Dancers Perform ‘Fresh Tracks,’ Renewed Favorites Oct. 4-7

VALDOSTA — The oldest dance repertory company in South Georgia will entertain and inspire all ages with its expressive movement through a variety of dance genres when the curtain rises on the Sawyer Theatre stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. 

“Fresh Tracks: The VSU Repertory Dancers in Concert” features fresh works, as well as renewed repertoire, choreographed by the university’s Dance Program faculty — Eric Brandt Nielsen, Catherine A. Schaeffer, and Sarah Wildes Arnett.

• “Call of the Beat” — Choreographed by Eric Brandt Nielsen and the Music Analysis for Dancers class, this new dance stars Sarah Wildes Arnett, Ariel Balla, Halle Biggs, Helen Brown, Makeda Bryce, DeVante Graham, Jonathan Gray, Marie Harper, Deroccius Harris, Jennifer Jackson, Robert B. McGaha, Raina Mitchell, Esmond Pickett, Rachelle Sanford, Kia Street, Sharia Stripling, Nicole Summerlin, and Jesse Vickers. Nielsen noted that the “dancers worked together to create rhythmic patterns that were not only choreographed but were accompanied by live percussion and recorded music. The cast not only focused on African and Asian genres but revealed how cultural dances have influenced contemporary dance and music of today.”

• “Fluttering Awake/Wash Over Me” — Choreographed by Sarah Wildes Arnett, this dance stars Marie Harper, Kelsey Johnson, Leah Kelly, Haley Sheppard, and Lauren Woodward.

• “Axis” — Choreographed by Catherine A. Schaeffer, this dance stars DeVante Graham, Deroccius Harris, Darius Jackson, Robert McGaha, Caleb Spivey, Halley Biggs, Helen Brown, Makeda Bryce, Jennifer Jackson, Tehya Malone, Raina Mitchell, Rachelle Sanford, Marissa Shankle, Sharia Stripling, Jesse Vickers, and Antoinette Williams.

• “Intimate Echoes” — “‘Intimate Echoes’ is a contemporary dance reflecting on relationships and memories of relationships,” noted Catherine A. Schaeffer, choreographer. “All human connections experience changes as they pass through time and space. Within these bonds, we explore dynamic shifts that are both quiet and explosive, seeking resolution.” This dance was originally performed as a duet in the fall of 2011. It has been selected for performance in the Arizona Dance Festival and will be performed at the Tempe Center for the Arts immediately following “Fresh Tracks.” This dance stars Esmond Picket, Nicole Summerlin, Marissa Shankle, Darius Jackson, Makeda Bryce, and Marie Harper.

• “Time Out (2006)” — This repertory dance was first created in 2003. “We have restaged this patron’s favorite with new scenic and costume designs, as well as updating certain choreographic sections,” said Eric Brandt Nielsen, choreographer. The dance stars Karoline Holiday, Matty Hogan, Ben McGaha, Megan Stewart, Hannah Kortrey, Madeline Gruzien, Shadaijah Jackson, Haley Sheppard, Caleb Spivey, Kendra Stevens, DeVante Graham, Rocky Harris, and Artise Newton.

• “Habit of Change” — Choreographed by Sarah Wildes Arnett, this dance stars Elizabeth Adams, Helen Brown, Darius Jackson, Kelsey Johnson, Kristen Keebler, Leah Kelly, Raina Mitchel, Esmond Pickett, Marissa Shankle, Sharia Stripling, Nicole Summerlin, and Antoinette Williams. It was originally performed in 2010.

“Fresh Tracks: The VSU Repertory Dancers in Concert” performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and 3 p.m. Oct. 7on the Sawyer Theatre stage, on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, which is located at the intersection of Brookwood Drive and Oak Street.

Individual tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for children and non-VSU students, and free for VSU students. Tickets for groups of 10 or more at a single performance are $7.

Season memberships, which include eight admissions to be used as desired by the member throughout the 2012-2013 Theatre and Dance season, are $58.85 for the public and $53.50 for university faculty and staff. Patronages are also available at a variety of levels, from $150 to $1,000, and benefit scholarships.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The VSU Repertory Dancers was founded in 1986. This ensemble serves to provide dance program support and community outreach in dance. The group has over 200 choreographed dances documented on video for restaging. Admission is by audition and open to all VSU students. The ensemble also provides a touring experience on a professional level for participants and is key to preparing dancers for life in the real world of dance and performance following graduation.

Contact Eric Brandt Nielsen at (229) 333-5840 or enielsen@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:

VSU Theatre

Next Up:

Moliere’s “The Would-Be Gentleman,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-10, 3 p.m. Nov. 11, and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12-14, Sawyer Theatre, Fine Arts Building