Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Department of Dance will present a Faculty Dance Concert on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, in the Anne R. Belk Theater in Robinson Hall. The program features five works by faculty choreographers and includes faculty and guest performers. The choreographic styles, from classical Indian dance to circus arts and physical theater to varied contemporary dance styles, represent a broad range of movement, expressions and intentions, exploring current social issues and shared human experiences.

New Assistant Professor of Dance Kaustavi Sarkar will present “Vibhatsya: Deconstructing the Smile,” which investigates the aesthetic, political, cultural, philosophical, ethical and social constructions behind the smile, a conventional feature of a classically trained dancing body. In both art and everyday life, the smile can be a false front and often masks grief and trauma. “Vibhatsya” is embedded in the context of recent school shootings and the proposal to arm school teachers as a solution.

 “!,” choreographed and performed by Tamara Williams, gets its title from the click consonants of the Bantu languages of South and West Africa, used  in this case to express resistance, disagreement or disapproval. The work addresses contemporary political violence arising from racism, misogyny and homophobia and in particular honors two recent victims, Austin bombing victim Draylen Mason and murdered Brazilian activist and councilwoman Marielle Franco.

Guest CarlosAlexis Cruz, who is a professor in the Department of Theatre, will present an excerpt of his original play, “Pícaro, pedazos de un camino” (Pieces of a Journey), with Shamou, who is the Dance Department’s music director. Pícaro uses contemporary circus arts, physical comedy, masks, magic and music to tell the story of Lazarito, a 13-year old boy from Guatemala who is forced by circumstances to leave his family and hometown.

Shamou also joins Associate Professor of Dance E.E. Balcos for “Reunion of Kindred Souls,” a structured improvisation piece that is inspired by Carl Jung’s concepts of creativity and the “play instinct.”

The program will conclude with selections from “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” a new work by AGA Collaborative (pictured), the performer-choreographer trio that includes Associate Professor of Dance Gretchen Alterowitz. “It’s five o’clock somewhere” continues the investigations of earlier AGA Collaborative pieces “placed” and “win. place. show.,” which examine the achievement-based systems in society.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 for the general public; $12 for UNC Charlotte faculty, staff and alumni), $10 (seniors, active military, and veterans) and $8 (students).