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MFA Thesis Concert – On The Edge

The Department of Dance at Case Western Reserve University will continue its 2013-2014 season with On The Edge, a thesis concert featuring MFA candidates Dani Dowler and Karina Browne. The concert will feature a reconstruction of a solo choreographed by the 20th century legendary modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey. The concert will also feature Black Diamond, an abstract work for two female dancers choreographed by Pascal Rioult, founder of the RIOULT Dance NY, as well as premieres of two new solo works choreographed by CWRU alumni Shannon Sterne and Kristy Clement.

MFA dance alumni, Kristy Clement, choreographed Classic for Dowler by pulling together images, performance qualities, spatial patterns and technical elements with popular movements and poses from a variety of dance genres including classical ballet, modern, tap and more.  These familiar images are delicately assembled and juxtaposed over two piano scores composed by Frederic Chopin and Philip Glass. Dowler’s second solo, The Call/Breath of Fire, was originally created by modern dance legend, Doris Humphrey to the music of Dane Rudhyar.  The Call/Breath of Fire was first performed by the choreographer as a double-solo on January 6, 1930 at the Maxine Elliott Theater, New York City. Dowler will also be setting a quartet titled Sensemaya la culebra to music by Silvestre Revueltas. Dowler’s four female dancers explore energetic, athletic movements, and rhythmic and dynamic variations while drawing on strong inspirations from Revueltas’ music and the Nicolas Guillen poem that inspired it.

The concert will include The Residuum of Gossamer Tales, choreographed by assistant professor and CWRU alumna Shannon Sterne and performed by Karina Browne. The Residuum of Gossamer Tales, is set to excerpts from Arvo Pärt’s three section composition Sarah Was Ninety Years Old. The piece explores storytelling and self-deceit as coping mechanisms that alter our view of ourselves and the world around us. Browne’s own work Weighing of the Heart, is a dance quintet set to the music of Sofia Gubaidulina. Weighing of the Heart gathers artistic vision and motivation from the afterlife process of ancient Egyptian culture, particularly the fifth through ninth gates of judgment.

Dowler and Browne will close the performance with the Cleveland premier of Pascal Rioult’s Black Diamond.  A former principal with the Martha Graham Dance Company, Rioult founded his own company, RIOULT Dance NY in 1994, where he has dedicated his energies to developing his own choreographic style and nurturing a robust ensemble of dancers. Anna Kisselgoff’s review of Black Diamond in the New York Times stated that, “…he has met the challenge of comparison with George Balanchine.” With costumes and sets designed by Rioult himself, and choreography set to Igor Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant, Black Diamond achieves poetry through dance. Every movement in Black Diamond is an interpretation of the qualities embodied by a black diamond – strength, beauty, purity, and mystery. Browne and Dowler spent a week in New York City learning the work alongside members of the RIOULT dance company.

On The Edge runs March 27, 28, 29th at 8 p.m. and March 30th at 2:30 p.m. All performances take place at Mather Dance Center, 11201 Bellflower Road, on the Case Western Reserve University campus. Tickets are $5 for students, $7 dollars for seniors and CWRU personnel, and $10 dollars for general admission. Tickets may be reserved by calling 216.368.5246, and are also available at Mather Dance Center prior to each performance.

Page last modified: September 16, 2014