Division of Dance

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts to present two premieres at “Meadows at the Winspear” benefit concert, May 11

The 2016 Meadows at the Winspear event, benefitting the Meadows Scholars Program, will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 11 in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street in Dallas.

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The Meadows Dance Ensemble performing Appalachian Spring

The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the Meadows Dance Ensemble, composed of top students from the Meadows School’s nationally respected dance program, in both works.

The first is the premiere of a newly envisioned choreography of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, created by Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, noted artistic directors of the acclaimed Delfos Danza Contemporanea in Mazatlán, Mexico. They have replaced the magical and mercurial glowing bird of Russian folklore with a more contemporary version of Stravinsky’s masterwork, inspired by the visual aesthetics of Hieronymus Bosch and the theme of migration.

The second is Martha Graham’s ballet masterpiece Appalachian Spring, featuring the world premiere of the newly completed, full orchestra version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning music by Aaron Copland. The Meadows Symphony Orchestra will be the first to perform the new material and will also act as “test drivers” for the score, helping to inform any corrections required before the music is published.

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Donna Wilhelm

The event will also honor Donna Wilhelm, a committed supporter of the arts in education and will inaugurate the new scholarship fund in her name. Beginning this fall, the Donna Wilhelm Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide SMU Meadows scholarships to highly qualified students from underrepresented ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

“Meadows at the Winspear is the pinnacle of our performance season,” said Meadows Dean Samuel S. Holland. “Not only will talented students in dance and music collaborate in presenting two extraordinary premieres, they will do so in a world-class venue. We’re honored to give the first performance of Copland’s iconic work with full symphony orchestra and to present a moving reinterpretation of Firebird based on a theme of migration and human displacement – reflecting our philosophy that art can become a form of social action. We are also delighted to honor Donna Wilhelm – whose work has had an impact not only on SMU but on all of North Texas.”

Tickets are $17 for students, faculty and staff and can be purchased online.

Meadow’s 2016 Spring Dance Concert showcases another world premiere

Spring-DanceThe Meadows Dance Ensemble in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts presents its 2016 Spring Dance Concert March 31-April 3 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. The ensemble will perform one world premiere and two enchanting ballets, creating an awe-inspiring evening for the audience.

The concert’s highlights will include the world premiere of a newly envisioned version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945), choreographed by Claudia Lavista and Victor Manuel Ruiz, artistic directors of the acclaimed Delfos Danza Contemporanea in Mazatlán, Mexico.

The program also showcases the Martha Graham masterpiece Appalachian Spring (1944), set to Aaron Copland‘s original score. The ensemble will also perform Tchaikovsky’s Pas de Deux by George Balanchine, an eight-minute display of ballet bravura and technique set to music the composer belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake.

Meadows dancers will present encores of Firebird Suite and Appalachian Spring, accompanied by the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, at the Meadows at the Winspear annual gala concert on May 11.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for students, faculty and staff and can be purchased online. For more information, call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

A world premiere, a masterwork and a revival at the 2015 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 11-15

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Deepa Liegal dancing “There is a Time” Photograph by Paul Phillips

The 2015 Fall Dance Concert will feature a world premiere, a masterwork and a revival.

Opening the program is the premiere of Wild and Precious, a contemporary ballet by Robert Dekkers. Created especially for the SMU Dance Ensemble, Wild and Precious is a celebration of both youthful energy and the evanescence of life. Performing choreography that is supremely physical and challenging, the dancers embody the dynamic spirit of “the body electric.”

The program continues with There Is a Time, a masterpiece of modern dance created in 1956 by José Limón and composer Norman Dello Joio, who earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for the score. The work alludes to a chapter of Ecclesiastes and each movement of the work is titled with a biblical verse and embodies the human experience.

The New York’s Joyce Theater invited the SMU dancers to perform There Is a Time at the 70th anniversary celebration of the Limón Dance Company, which honors José Limón’s legacy, in October. The Meadows School of the Arts is one of only nine university dance programs internationally selected to perform.

Concluding the Fall Dance Concert is a restaging of the jazz work Swing Concerto by jazz dance artist and SMU faculty member Danny Buraczeski. The work synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of the swing-era movement.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Tickets are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for SMU students, faculty and staff. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 214-768-2787 or visit the Meadows website.

SMU dance students and Dallas Chamber Symphony perform live to silent classic Metropolis at Dallas VideoFest Oct. 13, 2015

Metropolis banner - SMU Dance, Dallas Chamber Symphony, Dallas Video Fest

Fourteen SMU dancers, all first-year students, will perform with the Dallas Chamber Symphony during a very special presentation of director Fritz Lang’s 1927 dystopian masterpiece, Metropolis.

During a screening of the 82-minute silent film classic, the students will provide an interactive dance performance choreographed by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, with a new score by Austin-based film composer Brian Satterwhite performed live by the Dallas Chamber Symphony. The event is part of opening-night festivities for the 2015 Dallas VideoFest and begins Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street, in downtown Dallas.

> Learn more about the Dallas VideoFest at videofest.org

Often named as the first science fiction epic in film history, Metropolis is especially vivid in its portrayal of the disruptive effects of technological innovation and the social and economic stratifications it creates, as well as of civil liberties issues such as free speech, privacy and surveillance.

Metropolis is one of the great achievements of the silent era, a work so audacious in its vision and so angry in its message that it is, if anything, more powerful today than when it was made,” wrote the late Roger Ebert in a 1985 review.

> Learn more about Metropolis at IMDb

“Audiences have always been able to relate to these themes as new advances create new groups of haves and have-nots,” Dolder says. “Even today, 90 years later, they remain fresh and relevant.”

The film’s camera work, design and special effects are still haunting and evocative, and the staging of both crowd scenes and lead actors is “strikingly balletic [in] the repetitive synchronism of the working poor, as well as [its] portrayals of dance and artificial intelligence,” as noted in a Dallas Chamber Symphony release.

These elements and more make Metropolis fertile ground for a multidisciplinary collaboration between high art and high tech, Dolder says. “The trick for us will be to create a cohesive experience, where the new score and the dance element serve and enhance the film without distracting,” he adds.

> Christopher Dolder talks about Metropolis with KERA’s “Art & Seek”

The film’s otherworldly atmosphere is enhanced not only by the music, set and dancers, but also by the strategic projection of video elements from the film, isolated onto the dancers and set, Dolder says. He created and painted the intricate series of risers on which his students will perform – and made a point not to ask for their help, he adds.

“When we started this project, I told them I was going to treat them as professional dancers helping to create a new work,” he says. “In return, I expected them to prepare and conduct themselves in the same way.”

The approach has worked, Dolder says. “These first-year students may be the best class of dancers we’ve had – and we’ve consistently attracted talented, intelligent classes,” he says.

> Metropolis preview by Michael Granberry in The Dallas Morning News

“Each year, we try and accomplish something new, and more daring,” says Richard McKay, the DSC’s artistic director and conductor. “It is our ensemble’s adventurous culture that has motivated [us] to start the season with Metropolis – by far, the most complex and expansive production we have ever created.”

Individual tickets are available for $19-$55 each, $15 for students. VIP tickets can be purchased for $75, which will include a pre-event cocktail reception backstage with the artists, starting at 7 p.m. An after party will be hosted by Proof + Pantry, across the street from the theater, with complimentary appetizers for all patrons who would like to meet the composer and performers. Get tickets and more information online at DCSymphony.org, or call 214-449-1294.

> Find event information and purchase tickets at the Dallas Chamber Symphony website,

Calendar Highlights: Mustang Must-do’s for Oct. 2, 2015

cyrstal-city-199x300The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program: Jan Jarboe Russell will recount the dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families — many of them U.S. citizens — were incarcerated. The event will take place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015 in McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall. A light reception will precede the event beginning at 5:30 pm, with the lecture starting at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and event registration click here.

Dine and Dance with SMU’s Brown Bag Series: Throughout the week of Oct. 5, 2015, the Meadows School of the Arts Division of Dance will present lunchtime performances of 10-15 original, student-choreographed ballet, modern and jazz works. The performances will be held in the Bob Hope Theatre Lobby in SMU’s Owen Arts Center and are free and oBrownBagLive.ashxpen to the public. Click here for a list of daily performance times.

Set your Watch for Go Set a Watchman Discussion: Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero, a renowned To Kill a Mockingbird scholar, will discuss author Harper Lee’s controversial Go Set a Watchman on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom, SMU Campus. The 6 p.m. lecture will be preceded by a reception at 5:30 p.m. The event is presented by the SMUSA Book Club and Friends of the SMU Libraries. RSVP by Oct. 5, 2015 here.

Read more about Dean DiPiero and Go Set a Watchman

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Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer to give Sammons Media Ethics Lecture: Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist and FOX News commentator Charles Krauthammer will give SMU’s 16th annual Rosine Smith Sammons Lecture in Media Ethics at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free, but tickets are required. RSVP here.

Read more about Charles Krauthammer

Learn how to negotiate anything: Join Kelly Trager, an adjunct professor and lawyer, in a three-part workshop that will change the way you negotiate in your daily liGetFileAttachmentfe. Workshops will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m Thursday Oct. 8, Thursday Oct. 15 and Thursday Oct. 22, 2015. The workshops will be located in the Embrey Engineering Building room 129, SMU and are free and open to the public. Reserve a seat here.

Demanding or Deferring? The Economic Value of Communication with Attitude: Daniel Houser, George Mason University, will present his recent research on the effects of natural language communication versus fixed-structure communication on individual behavior on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 at 2 p.m in Umphrey Lee Center Room 303. This event is apart of the Economics Seminar Series and is presented by Dedman College.

Read more about Daniel Houser

Calendar Highlights: Jan. 29, 2014

Plains Indians and Their Horses: The Clement Center for Southwest Studies presents “Rethinking Horses, Native Peoples and Colonialism in the North American Borderlands,” Wednesday, Jan. 29. The lecture will focus on a new approach to Plains Indians and horses; placing the Plains in a broader continental context. Thomas Andrews will give the talk; Andrews specializes in the social and environmental history of the Rocky Mountain West and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The night will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., lecture at 6:30 p.m. and book signing immediately following. The event is in DeGolyer Library and is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Image from ''FRANK HENDERSON'S DRAWING BOOK" via Clements Center

Image from ”FRANK HENDERSON’S DRAWING BOOK” via Clements Center

Meadows Wind Ensemble Conductor Jack Delaney

Meadows Wind Ensemble Conductor Jack Delaney

Enacting the Archives, Discentering the Muses: Professor Walter Mignolo will speak at Meadows Museum on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 5:30 p.m. Mignolo makes the point that delinking and de-westernization are taking place in the sphere of museums and biennials; he will speak on three specific examples from which this theory stems. Mignolo received his Ph.D. from Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris and is now the William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature at Duke University, holding joint appointments in cultural anthropology and Romance studies. Thursday’s lecture is part of the Comini Lecture Series and will be held in Bob Smith Auditorium.

A Night of Stravinsky: The Meadows Wind Ensemble invites you to a concert featuring four works by Stravinsky – one including performers from SMU’s Division of Dance and another starring Meadows faculty member and pianist Catharine Lysinger. The concert take place Friday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium. Tickets are $7 for faculty, staff and students.

New Shen Wei work highlights 2012 Spring Dance Concert

SMU dancer Kaily Andriot rehearses 'Five Preludes' for the 2012 Spring Dance Concert

SMU dancer Kaily Andriot rehearses Adam Hougland's "Five Preludes" for the 2012 Meadows Spring Dance Concert. Photo credit: Sharen Bradford.

A new work by groundbreaking choreographer and 2010 Meadows Prize winner Shen Wei will be a marquee feature of SMU’s 2012 Spring Dance Concert. The show, presented by The Meadows Dance Ensemble of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, includes works by three award-winning choreographers and runs March 28-April 1 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

This year’s works include the premiere of Five Preludes, a ballet by visiting artist-in-residence Adam HouglandSong Awakened by SMU faculty member and noted jazz dance artist Danny Buraczeski; and The New You, a world premiere by Shen Wei.

The concert opens with Five Preludes, a neo-classical ballet on pointe set to five Rachmaninoff preludes. Choreographer Adam Hougland, a Dallas native, is principal choreographer for the Louisville Ballet and resident choreographer for the Cincinnati Ballet. He has won both the Princess Grace Award and the Choo-San Goh Award for choreography and was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” for 2011.

Next on the program is Buraczeski’s Song Awakened, a work set to the songs of Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater in 2001; The New York Times wrote that Buraczeski “makes his dancers voiceless musicians who use their bodies, alone and together, to add rhythms to (Evora’s).” The piece is presented in tribute to Ms. Évora, who passed away in December at age 70. Buraczeski, a nationally known jazz choreographer, has received commissions from such organizations as the Walker Art Center, the Library of Congress, and the American Dance Festival. He also has received multiple fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, for whom he is now a regular panelist and consultant.

> A slideshow of 2012 Spring Dance Concert images from Gary Shultz of SMU News

SMU dancers rehearse a Shen Wei world premiere, 'The New You.'

SMU dancers rehearse a Shen Wei world premiere, "The New You." The renowned choreographer created the work during his Meadows Prize residency at the University in 2012. Photo credit: Sharen Bradford.

Following intermission, the Meadows dancers will perform the world premiere of The New You by Shen Wei – an internationally renowned choreographer, director, dancer and designer and the artistic director of New York-based Shen Wei Dance Arts. Perhaps best know as the lead choreographer for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shen Wei created this new work from the ground up during his three-week Meadows Prize residency in January and February 2012.

“This work is about audiences experiencing new possibilities by building and revising systems that are sensed, but not necessarily known,” said Shen Wei. “Art opens doors we never thought had existed and enables us to access previously unknown dimensions. By sensing different art forms, audiences can discover novel structural foundations and embark on a new journey. I hope this experience can offer the students and the viewers an alternative possibility of space.”

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

Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Visit the Meadows School of the Arts homepage

Alumni works highlight SMU’s 2011 Fall Dance Concert Nov. 2-6

2011 Fall Dance Concert at SMU, photo by Sharen King Bradford '76The Division of Dance in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts salutes the centennial of the University’s founding in 1911 by showcasing works choreographed by eight distinguished alumni at its 2011 Fall Dance Concert, Nov. 2-6 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Cheryl Chaddick (’77), Anna Marie Ewert-Pittman (’94), Jarrell Hamilton (’09), John Malashock (’75), Annmaria Mazzini (’94), Josh Peugh (’06), Jamal Story (’99) and Max Stone (M.F.A. ’05), all of whom work in the dance field as artistic directors, performers and teachers, were selected from a pool of 35 alumni candidates by a panel of artists and arts administrators from across the nation.

The concert includes new works by three of the choreographers and five restaged works from existing repertory, one of which is a piece performed by two Dance Division alumni who are currently dancing with professional companies in New York.

“It has been a thrill to work with these gifted alumni, some of whom are my former students – and classmates!” said SMU dance professor Patty Harrington Delaney, artistic director of the concert. “They have all done well in the professional world, and they are a huge inspiration to our current students; our undergraduates not only have a chance to work with them in rehearsals and master classes, but learn from their ‘real world’ experience.”

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

[Photographer Sharen King Bradford received her B.F.A. (’75) and MF.A. (’77) in dance from SMU.]

> Buy 2011 Fall Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini
> Read more about the choreographers and their works from SMU News

SMU’s 2010 Fall Dance Concert here just in time

Fall Dance ConcertOne of the more popular methods of relieving stress during the dregs of the late semester is finally returning to campus, and not a moment too soon.

Meadow’s 2010 Fall Dance Concert, a congregation of the Divsion of Dance‘s skills, techniques, and of course, top-tier dancers, is back for a five-night revue. This year’s performances highlight contemporary and jazz works, including Pithecanthropus Erectus by bass legend Charlie Mangus, the duet Alraune by the Pilobolus Dance Theatre, and Adam Hougland‘s daring contemporary ballet, Beyond.

Also included are works by new SMU Jazz instructor and faculty member Millicent Johnnie and new works by internationally known choreographer William Soleau. (KERA recently published an article on Soleau’s works- you can find it here.)

The Fall Dance Concert will run for five performances- at 8 p.m. each night from Wednesday, Nov. 10 to Saturday, Nov. 13th, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14th. All performances are in the Bob Hope Theatre at Meadows. Prices are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for faculty, staff and students. For more information on tickets, call 214-768-ARTS.

A list of the cast and crew of the Fall Dance Concert follows after the jump.
(Pictured, junior Jamal Jackson White and senior Kimberly Van Woesik perform Adam Hougland’s ballet Beyond.)

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