Fall Dance Concert to explore migrant experience in guest choreographer’s work

2018 Fall Dance Concert
Monday, November 5, 2018

Students in the Department of Dance will perform the 2018 Fall Dance Concert Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 15-18, in the Belk Theater in Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts. The four works on the program were choreographed by UNC Charlotte dance faculty and guest artists, including choreographer Claudia Lavista of Delfos Danza Contemporánea. 

The program will open with “Compel and Carry,” a contemporary ballet solo created by Associate Professor Gretchen Alterowitz and performed by student Emma Montecalvo. Assistant Professor Tamara Williams’s work, “Atoto!” follows. Created for eight dancers and performed to live drumming, it reflects her expertise in Brazilian Silvestre technique and traditional African Brazilian dance forms. The title, “Atoto!” is from the Nigerian language, Yoruba, which is spoken by some Afro-Brazilians. The word translates roughly as a call for “Silence!” and is used throughout Brazil to recognize the power and resistance of the element earth.

Megan Payne, a guest artist and adjunct professor, created “more &,” a contemporary duet to be performed by Klaire Morgenstern and Erica Swinson. Payne is a Charlotte-based choreographer, instructor and curator and is a contributing member and artist-in-residence at the Goodyear Arts Collective; the co-director of repCLT, a North Carolina nonprofit advocating research and exchange in performance; and co-producer of ladyfestCLT, promoting dance and female makers in the southeast region. 

Guest artist Claudia Lavista worked with UNC Charlotte dancers for 10 days in late August and early September to set her piece, “Prow (A Journey),” which concludes the concert. Lavista is co-director of Delfos Danza Contemporánea, Mexico’s premiere contemporary dance company. She has more than 25 years of international dance experience and is the winner of national and international awards.

According to Lavista, “Prow” is “an interdisciplinary work that uses sound and movement to address themes like migration, immigration, alienation, and identity.” The choreography portrays the physical and emotional struggle of human migration—the danger, exhaustion and loss—culminating with the arrival at a wall that must be penetrated by empathy.

While she originally choreographed “Prow” for her company, Lavista worked with students to create this new version especially for UNC Charlotte. Audrey Baran, an alumna of the Dance Department and an adjunct faculty member, has served as rehearsal director for “Prow” throughout the semester. The department’s music director, Shamou, has composed an original sound score for the production.

Performances of the Fall Dance Concert are at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 15-17, and 2 p.m., Nov. 18. Tickets are $18 for general admission, $12 for UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, $10 for seniors and $8 for students and are available at the Robinson Hall Box Office or online.

The Department of Dance will present an education concert at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 16, for local middle and high school students.