A masterwork by Paul Taylor, a repertoire favorite by George Balanchine and a jazz dance by SMU faculty member Brandi Coleman are the marquee attractions at the Meadows School of the Arts’ 2017 Spring Dance Concert. The show runs April 5-9 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.
Balanchine’s short classical ballet Valse-Fantaisie (“fantasy waltz”), choreographed for the New York City Ballet in 1967, opens the program. The concert continues with What We Do With Time, a rhythm-driven jazz work by Artist-in-Residence Coleman, associate artistic director of the Emmy Award-winning Jump Rhythm® Jazz Project. The work is based in Jump Rhythm® Technique, a rhythm-generated system of dance training that focuses on percussive energy as a means of expressive dancing.
Concluding the program is Paul Taylor’s masterwork Mercuric Tidings, described by New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff as “a dance that seemingly bursts into song.” Nationally acclaimed dance alumna Annmaria Mazzini ’94, who recently retired from the Paul Taylor Dance Company after a dozen years as one of PTDC’s principal dancers, spent three weeks at SMU helping train and prepare the students for the concert. In addition, alumnus and current Taylor company principal dancer Michael Trusnovec ’96 provided coaching for three days in February while he was in Dallas for a PTDC performance at the Eisemann Center.
“Mercuric Tidings demands a speed, strength and navigational skill that pushes its performers to their athletic and mental edges,” said Mazzini, who is now resident choreographer of the American Modern Ensemble and artistic director of the Mazzini Dance Collective in New York. “Achieving this as an individual is the first step, but when every dancer embodies the power and purpose of the entire 13, it becomes pure Taylor magic. It’s so wonderful to see that happening for these dancers. Their collective exuberance is palpable and thrilling, and the joy they are exuding is absolutely genuine, contagious and beautiful to behold!”
Spring Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS), or purchase tickets online at Vendini.
— Victoria Winkelman