Meadows presents 2011 Spring Dance Concert March 30-April 3

Vigeland's Garden by SMU faculty member Christopher Dolder. The dancers are Sidney Anthony and Jamal Jackson White.
Vigeland’s Garden, featuring Sidney Anthony and Jamal Jackson White (Photo by Brittany Nicole.)
Camille...a Poem of Intimacy by SMU guest artist-in-residence Jean Paul Comelin. The dancers are Jessalyn Phillips and Joshua D. Deininger.
Camille…a Poem of Intimacy
, featuring Jessalyn Phillips and Joshua D. Deininger (Photo by Brittany Nicole)
Prayers by New York-based choreographer Jessica Lang
Prayers (Photo by Brittany Nicole)

The Meadows Dance Ensemble at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present a selection of ballet and contemporary works at its 2011 Spring Dance Concert, March 30-April 3 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The featured dances include:

  • Prayers by New York-based choreographer Jessica Lang.
  • Camille…a Poem of Intimacy by guest artist-in-residence Jean Paul Comelin.
  • Vigeland’s Garden by Meadows faculty member Christopher Dolder.
  • No Contact by student Jamal Jackson White.
  • Two special student performances of Martha Graham’s Panorama.

The SMU concert opens with Prayers, a celebration of a supportive community of nine female dancers set to the music of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Josquin Des Prez. Jessica Lang’s choreography portrays the interpersonal relationships that inform, enliven and strengthen the community. The work was originally commissioned by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and premiered in 2008.

Next on the program is Vigeland’s Garden by new faculty member Christopher Dolder, inspired by the seminal work of Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The Darwinian comedy/drama interprets the cyclical patterns of nature – birth, life, death and rebirth – as they play out in the animal kingdom.

Camille…a Poem of Intimacy is a work in progress by guest artist-in-residence Jean Paul Comelin, an internationally renowned choreographer, director and master teacher who has created more than 70 works for major dance companies on five continents. Camille is a pas de deux inspired by the sculptures of French artist Camille Claudel (1864-1943), pupil and mistress of Auguste Rodin.

Also featured will be No Contact, a work choreographed by SMU dance student Jamal Jackson White and premiered at the University’s Brown Bag Dance Concert last fall.

On Friday and Saturday evening only, SMU dancers will give a special performance of Martha Graham’s Panorama. The performances serve as a preview of the SMU Dance Ensemble’s presentation of the work as part of the upcoming Martha Graham Dance Company performance at the Winspear Opera House on April 30 presented by TITAS in association with the AT&T Performing Arts Center.

The SMU students were invited by the Graham Company – the oldest and most celebrated dance company in America – to perform the work, says Myra Woodruff, SMU dance faculty member and a former Martha Graham dancer.

“It is a tremendous honor for our college dance ensemble to have been invited to perform with the Graham Company in concert,” Woodruff says. “It is indicative of the exceptionally high regard the Graham Company has for SMU’s Division of Dance.”

Premiered in 1935, Panorama is a groundbreaking work for 35 dancers set to a score by Norman Lloyd, which uses sheer numbers and geometric design to drive home Graham’s intense socio-political themes.

Spring Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. Free parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley or in the garage under the Meadows Museum. For tickets and more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).