ELSAH — Principia College’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present its annual Dance Production Thursday, April 13, through Saturday, April 15, in Cox Auditorium, nightly at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday.
This year’s Dance Production will debut a video version of “Jhivumary,” choreographed by former American Ballet Theatre dancer John Gardner, the fifth original ballet he has created for Principia dancers. “Jhivumary” is set to music by Franz Joseph Haydn and incorporates both ballet and contemporary movement.
For several years now, Gardner and his wife, former American Ballet Theatre prima ballerina Amanda McKerrow, have conducted workshops at Principia College, providing a rare opportunity for undergraduates to study with world-class dancers. During their distinguished careers, Gardner and McKerrow performed and worked with renowned dancers and choreographers, including George Balanchine, Agnes de Mille, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, among others. In January, Gardner and McKerrow conducted a two-week workshop with Principia dancers in preparation for this year’s Dance Production.
In addition, visiting choreographer Erin Lane will present her piece “The Spaces Between” set to “Sound Score 1,” which Lane composed. Jason Wissman will perform his solo work “Fragile” set to music by the same name, sharing his vision of how hip-hop dance can express man’s need for compassion. This year’s production also features “Thaïs,” choreographed by Principia Dance Professor Hilary Harper-Wilcoxen, and featuring violinist Laura Parker and pianist Dr. April Mok, both music professors at Principia. The piece explores the moment in the opera “Thaïs,” composed by Jules Massenet, where the main character discovers her spiritual sense of worth and love of God.
In its entirety, Dance Production will feature 41 student dancers, showcasing contemporary, hip-hop, tap, and African dance styles.
“This year’s show is full of stories that tell, through dance, how varied, poignant and rich the human condition can be,” Harper-Wilcoxen says. “Our nine student choreographers have outdone themselves. And having guest artists of the caliber of Gardner, Wissman, and Lane enables us to provide a program that values not only character and creativity but artistic excellence.”
Seating is general admission. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students. Cash and checks will be accepted at the door, or tickets may be ordered online. Learn more and purchase tickets.
A few days after Dance Production, the Principia College Choir and Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in Cox Auditorium under the direction of Dr. Joe Van Riper. The program will feature Romantic favorites, including Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and movements from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” The choir will perform an all-English choral music program ranging from William Byrd to John Rutter on themes sacred and secular, non-semantic and literary. The concert is free and open to the public and will be broadcast on Principia Internet Radio.