From Perunapalooza to Pony Preview, from Meadows Museum Family Day to the Luck of the Loydians Residential Commons celebration, and from the Red-Blue Scrimmage to Mustang Fan Fair, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend was packed with activities for the entire community. Take a look back with these photos by Kim Leeson and Guy Rogers III.
This year’s concert features two world premieres by noted guest choreographers, as well as the revival of an acclaimed work by jazz dance artist and faculty member Danny Buraczeski.
The program opens with the premiere of Darkside by Artist-in-Residence John Selya. Based on the Tom Stoppard BBC radio play with music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album, Selya’s Darkside brings a visual element to what has been a solely auditory work. In addition to teaching and choreographing at universities and dance companies across the nation, Selya is a Tony-nominated dancer and Broadway veteran.
The second performance features faculty member Danny Buraczeski‘s in the revival of his acclaimed 1999 piece Ezekiel’s Wheel. Inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin, Ezekiel’s Wheel is set to a percussive musical score interspersed with passages of Baldwin’s writings.
The program concludes with the premiere of The Hi Betty Cha-Cha by alumnus and founder and director of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Joshua Peugh (’06). Featuring five contrasting sections, the work is set to music by Dean Martin, as well as Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
Performance take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Available for purchase online, tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, students and staff. For more information, contact the Meadows Ticket Office.
Meadows Theatre continues its 2014-15 season with a new production of Caryl Churchill’s 1982 reflection on what it means to be a successful woman, declared by arts writer Mark Ravenhill to be “the best play in 20 years.”
Top Girls, directed by Professor of Theatre Rhonda Blair, will run through Sunday, Oct. 26 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $7 each for SMU faculty, staff and students. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as there will be no late seating.
Set in early-1980s Great Britain (and influenced by Margaret Thatcher’s celebration of individualistic achievement), the story focuses on Marlene, the newly promoted managing director of the Top Girls employment agency. A tough career woman who has buried her own empathy in pursuit of success, Marlene habitually exploits other women to get ahead – including her sister Joyce, who is charged with tending to their family responsibilities alone. Through their opposing points of view, Churchill critically examines a model of women’s achievement built on attributes traditionally regarded as “masculine” and questions whether it is possible for women to enjoy success in both career and family life.
The play features a famous opening sequence in which Marlene meets notable women from history and myth, including Pope Joan, Victorian traveler Isabella Bird, 13th-century Japanese courtesan-turned-Buddhist-nun Lady Nijo, Patient Griselda from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Dull Gret, the harrower of hell from Flemish folklore. The play also explores the commonalities these historical women have with Marlene and her circle.