The Department of Dance at Case Western Reserve University begins its 2017-18 season with Vistas, the fall concert of dance works featuring guest artist Nai-Ni Chen and CWRU faculty. Performances are November 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 at 8 p.m., and November 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Mather Dance Center, 11201 Bellflower Rd, on the Case Western Reserve University campus.
Bamboo Prayer, a dance for six women choreographed by Nai-Ni Chen, was commissioned by the Joyce Theater in New York where it premiered in 1998. Inspired by the beauty of bamboo, a plant abundant in Chen’s native Taiwan, the dance exudes strength, resiliency and grace embodied in women. Chen was in residency at CWRU for one week to set the dance and the upcoming performances are the first time the work will be performed by dancers other than her New York based company.
Gary Galbraith, artistic director of the Department of Dance, through a collaborative project with the Interactive Commons at CWRU, will premiere his Imagined Odyssey, a first-of-its-kind choreographic work that will utilize live holographic imagery featuring Microsoft’s HoloLens, an augmented reality holographic technology. These performances will mark one of the largest numbers of people in the world to simultaneously experience a live holographic presentation using HoloLens. The narrative based technology infused work is the next installment in a series of ‘responsive media’ dance-works that Galbraith has created at CWRU. With music by Michael Gordon, the mysterious landscape, props, and sets are brought to life through the magical inclusion of holograms on stage that bring to life the visually rich stage experience. During the performances, members of the audience will wear HoloLens in order to watch the dancers and holograms move seamlessly on stage as the dance merges and mixes music and choreography with holographic content and particles made entirely of light. The unique collaboration draws upon the expertise of dancers, artists, illustrators, programmers, network engineers, and more.
Strange Gardens, another of Galbraith’s responsive-media infused works, returns to the stage at Mather Dance Center. Created in 2016, a visually rich wonderland is created, manipulated and transformed by a trio of dancers by their kinetic journey through space.
Shannon Sterne’s Contagion has been expanded and enlarged for its CWRU debut. Originally created for six dancers for its premiere at Cuyahoga Community College in 2012, Sterne has set the work on ten undergraduate dance majors and minors for the Vistas performances.
Rounding out the program is The Pleiades, a dance for seven women choreographed by Karen Potter, Chair of the Department of Dance. Potter was initially inspired to create the work after seeing the Pleiades star cluster and reading various myths about the ‘seven sisters’. The dance premiered in New York in the spring of 1998 and has been previously restaged at CWRU.
Tickets are $7 for students with ID, $10 for adults 60+ and CWRU personnel, and $15 for general admission. Reservations are strongly recommended due to limited seating, and may be made by calling (216) 368-5246, or online at dance.case.edu/reservations.