The concert,What You Will,begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre . The WVU Division of Theatre and Dance production is directed by Heather Ahern , head of the dance program in WVU s College of Creative Arts .
The concert will feature 12 original dances by faculty and students, as well as choreography by guest artist Reneé Nicholson, Ahern said.
One of the most unique dances is choreographed by Ahern. InUtopia,dancers wearing hoop skirt sculptures designed by California artist Sharon Busch perform toBeautiful Dancerby Stephen Foster andMusic from Egon Schieleby Rachel Grimes.
I had the hoop skirts made for this dance, and they are formed of three concentric stainless-steel circles,Ahern said.You can look through them and see the dancersentire bodies as they swing around.
Another interesting work on the program isCount That,a tap dance based on the hoofing technique of Savion Glover. This work will be performed without music because the dancers will be making their own music, Ahern said.
It is a very loud, macho-type of tap dancea tap dance on steroidsvery fierce and street-smart,she said.
In contrast to this will beMoonlight,choreographed by WVU dance professor Carole Wiedebusch to music by John Williams and sung by Sting. Ahern described this work asa very sweet dance by several couples.
Dance professor Barbara Yurick has created another unique dance featuring a performance by two WVU student actors, John Perry and Melissa Allen. Music student William Oxley will also perform percussion on this piece.Were Not All The Sameis a modern dance to the musicDancing Drumsby Badmarsh and Shri.
The dance questions how much of who we are is fate or predestination and how much is a result of our own will to make things happen,Ahern said, adding this also refers back to the concerts title.
The work with the hoop skirts also takes on the same issue,she added.It is conformity versus nonconformity.
The ballet set by Nicholson isVariation from Act III , Don Quixote(1869), based on choreography by Marius Petipa, one of the most influential balletmasters and choreographers.
This is a variation usually only included in Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet productions of �€~Don Quixote,Ahern said.It is from the original choreography from the Maryinsky Theatre in imperial Russia.
Nicholson is a former ballerina who currently teaches creative writing in the WVU Department of English .
Other works on the program include a tango by Astor Piazolla, a ballad by Ben Harper and dances set toMy Philosophyby Inner,Cosmic Girlby Jamiroquai,Yes We Canby Will.i.am,Not Aloneby Andrea Taylor,Hometown Gloryby Adele, excerpts from the musicalChicagoandTake Me to the Hospitalby The Faint.
This concert promises to be a memorable performance with something for everyone,Ahern said.
Student choreographers are Caitlin Robertson, Rachel Romero, Heidi Milne, Kira Sedlock, Karissa Knobbe, Sara Milam, Lauren Hanahan and Bethany Fisher.
WVU student dancers performing in the concert will be: Stephanie DeBolt, Elizabeth Lewellen, Tiffany Mancuso, Sara Milam, Caitlin Robertson, Shana Switzer, Caitlin Caskey, Lauren Hanahan, Rachel Romero, Amy Taylor, Elizabeth Convey, Melissa Moraes, Heidi Milne, Megan Otte, Kyrsten Green, Kyle Hayes, John Perry, Mallory Bracken, Karissa Knobbe, Jamie Williams, Richard McDonough, Lindsay Satryan, Corey Nielsen, Taylor Shepherd, Bethany Fisher, Kelly Muller, Kira Sedlock, Shaydrina Hassell, Lindsay Kenders, Lindsay Dilworth, Hope Calhoun, Rachel Haring, Jennifer Baird, Valerie Guido and Emily Henderson.
Ahern is originally from Providence, R.I., where she co-directed, toured, performed and taught with the critically acclaimed Groundwerx Dance Theatre for 15 years.
She is a past recipient of an Artist Project Grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for the creation of a one-woman dance/play entitledAmazons, Goddesses and Others.She also received a Cirino Fellowship Award for three consecutive years from the Rhode Island Foundation.
In addition to the creation of modern dance choreography, Ahern has enjoyed working as a movement consultant and choreographer for Perishable Theatre and Trinity Repertory Theatre, both of Providence.
As a teacher and guest artist, Ahern has both taught and choreographed work for a variety of groups at colleges, universities and other educational institutions in Arizona, Alaska and California and throughout New England.
She earned a Master of Fine Arts in dance and graduated with honors from California State University in Long Beach.
Tickets to the WVU Dance Concert are $15 for the general public, $12 for WVU faculty/staff and senior citizens, $10 for students and $7 for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets, call 304-293-SHOW or visit the WVU Mountainlair or Creative Arts Center box offices. Tickets are also available through all Ticketmaster outlets.