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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Improvisation ‘Key’ for UA dance performance

    For most college students, unless they have had a few too many, the idea of grooving on the dance floor does not sound too appealing. An evening with the UA Dance Ensemble, however, can fulfill one’s love for dance without any embarrassment – or hangovers for that matter.

    The ensemble presents “”Keyhole Dances,”” a collection of dance numbers performed by UA students. The performance has been choreographed by UA faculty along with well-known choreographers George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson and Gus Giordano and includes a variety of dance genres.

    “”It’s interesting because this is a show that includes jazz, modern and ballet,”” said Jon Sloven, a theatre arts graduate student in dance with an emphasis in both choreography and performance.

    Sloven was cast in one of the pieces that will be a part of the show; “”Adagio for 13 Music Stands and a Rope,”” under the direction and choreography of returning faculty member Douglas Nielsen.

    “”He is just a genius,”” Sloven said. “”I have a class with him, and I write down everything he says. I’m not even taking notes, just writing what he has to say.””

    The piece is improvisational, with the dancers deriving their inspiration from the 1937 painting “”Trente”” by Wassily Kandinsky.

    The work is a grid-like piece, with each box displaying a rather obscure object; every dancer was assigned a different box to interpret.

    “”Mine was this bottom corner one but I had it flipped the other way so I interpreted it completely differently,”” Sloven said.

    Even though the show is this week, the cast still has not rehearsed in front of any mirrors.

    “”It makes it really challenging because you have to look upon other people,”” Sloven said.

    Although these types of rehearsals have been difficult, the process has aided the cast in working as a group.

    “”People ask, ‘do you have a good part in it?’ But in this piece we really have to work as a unit,”” Sloven said. “”A bunch of us were all just talking about how we were all casted because we are all totally different. As far as background and race and we are all into different types of dance. It is really interesting for us to come together.””

    The individuality of the dancers, however, will not be reflected in the costumes they wear onstage.

    “”The piece is about conformity and nonconformity,”” Sloven said. We all wear black but we all look very different.””

    However, the black attire will not be worn the throughout the entirety of the show. The dancers will begin the performance in just the basics.

    “”I call them short-shorts, but they are really just underwear,”” Sloven confessed. “”So I’ve been using my ab roller for the past month.””

    Whether they are wearing close to nothing or are all gothed out, the dancers will bust their moves onstage to Samuel Barber’s “”Adagio for Strings, Op. 11.””

    “”It’s beautiful, really dramatic. Really dramatic,”” Sloven said.

    The music will accompany the performance; however, Sloven said the dance is not set to it because the piece is improvisational.

    “”Sometimes we’ll be standing on the stage for like four minutes with nobody moving and you’re like, ‘give me something,'”” Sloven said. “”It has definitely been the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of, but I think people will like it, I hope.””

    The Keyhole Performances will be held today through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. All performances will be held in the Stevie Eller Dance Theatre, 1737 E. University Blvd. Tickets are $18, $15 for seniors and $12 for students.

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