Getting Physical in Spring Dance Concert at HSU

Whether it’s Alice in Wonderland or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the dynamics of a relationship or of deflecting molecules, it’s dance that can give them physical reality.

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“Physical Reality,” the HSU spring dance concert, is presented in the Van Duzer Theatre Thursdays-Saturdays, April 3-5,10-12 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on April 13.

That’s the premise of “Physical Reality,” this spring’s HSU dance concert, presented on the Van Duzer Theatre stage for an expanded run of two weekends beginning April 3. More than 40 dancers perform in ten original works, employing styles from traditional Middle Eastern to hip-hop.

“This group of student dancers has been one very pleasant surprise after another,” said concert coordinator and dance professor Sharon Butcher. “I’m so impressed with how organized they are, what good team players they are, and what great work they are doing in such a short period of time.”

Themes of the student-choreographed dances vary from an examination of post-traumatic stress on returning soldiers (by Kelsey Brennan) to explorations of the dynamics of a love affair (Melina Calderon) or a search for personal balance (in dances by Shannon Adams and Alexandra Stock.)

“The dance based on Alice in Wonderland by Amanda Perez is hilarious,” said Butcher. “It’s the familiar characters in a different story. And in ‘The Coriolis Effect’, Allie Phinney brings the stage to life with the beautiful colors and movements of long, flowing veils.”

Two faculty members contribute dances: Shoshanna presents a new dance in traditional Egyptian (or “belly dance”) style, and Linda Maxwell devises a ballet with a jazz flair.

Guest artist Laura Munoz created “When I Die Leave the Balcony Open,” which was featured at the recent American College Dance Festival, along with another work on the program, a solo performed by Camille Ruiz which she devised with Dani Gutierrez.

Known for his work with Dell’Arte (and songs for HSU’s Humboldt Unbound) composer and musician Tim Gray has provided original scores for two dances. “He adds multiple layers of texture and interest to those dances,” Butcher said. “It’s a perfect example of how the right sounds can elevate a dance and help to convey the choreographer’s intent.”

“Physical Reality,” the HSU spring dance concert, is presented in the Van Duzer Theatre Thursdays-Saturdays, April 3-5,10-12 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on April 13. Tickets are $10/ $8 seniors and students, with a limited number of free seats for HSU students at each performance, from the HSU Box Office (826-3928) or at the door. For more information, vist hsustage.blogspot.com. Produced by HSU Theatre, Film & Dance department.