Dance company pirouettes into concert

Guest artist Rennie Harris, a New York native, will bring broad styles of choreography to the stage and performances by emerging dance artists Courtney Mulcahy and Megan Jinx will all be featured when the Sam Houston State University department of theatre and dance presents the SHSU Dance Company concert April 27-29.

The concert will be held at the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage Theatre at 8 p.m. nightly and a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.

This year’s dance company concert will present new and old works by the nationally and internationally recognized SHSU dance faculty, according to dance professor Cindy Gratz.

The SHSU Dance Company consists of 21 dancers, one of whom is professor Dana Nicolay, whose three reconstructed works will be performed by students.

“Crossings” is a pas de deux on pointe, a duet, alternately danced by Emma Smith with Jesus Acosta and Emily Hine with Golden Wright.

Nicolay is also recreating his bird inspired modern dance piece entitled “Dream Birds.”

His third piece, “Into Darkness,” has religious overtones and was presented at the First Christian Church in Huntsville on April 9.

Gratz will premiere her work, “Picturing Falling,” a dance about guardian angels.

“We began rehearsing the piece in January, and, ironically, I had an auto accident in February,” Gratz said. “I broke my neck and so many things could have gone wrong! But I am alive and with much therapy and time, will recover.

“I like to think there were still feathers from my guardian angel on me when I arrived at the hospital in Bryan,” she said.

New choreography by assistant professors Melissa Wynn and Kista Tucker will also be featured.

Tucker’s new piece, with a working title “The Wall,” contains juxtapositions of stillness versus physicality to present an intense condition on stage.

Several dancers become a sort of living wall, and other dancers react to the wall, or present variations that occur when they find themselves caught on either side of the wall.

Dance faculty member Jonathan Charles will be presenting a new work that integrates traditional movement with unorthodox elements.

“In this dance, Mr. Charles uses conventional ballet and Chopin music as a background for humorous interludes using flashy jazz movements that have come to be his choreographic signature,” said Gratz.

Graduate student Courtney Mulcahy will present her work entitled “Hush,” which was selected to represent SHSU at the American College Dance Festival at the University of Wyoming.

In addition, senior Megan Jinks will be present “Breath,” a narrative also taken to the ACDFA Festival last month.

Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and senior citizens, and will be available at the door.

For more information, call the dance department at (936) 294-3988.

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