Contemporary dance concert to feature famed and new works

12:00:01 PM CDT - Wednesday, April 04, 2007

By Shannon Littlejohn

Two nights of contemporary dance in mid-April will showcase the choreography of Wichita State's dance faculty and that of a world-famous visiting choreographer.

The annual Contemporary Dance Theatre Spring Concert gives audiences an opportunity to see modern moves from the dance world, performed by faculty, students and special guests of WSU's dance department.

Dance faculty member Sabrina Vasquez said the concert includes California choreographer Charles Moulton's "Precision Ball Passing."

Moulton does work for television and film, including creating the choreography for more than 1,000 dancers in the "The Matrix" movie sequel. He has set and created works for Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Project and the Joffrey Ballet, among many others.

"He was here for a whole week," said Vasquez of Moulton's visit to campus earlier this semester. "The University of Central Oklahoma is coming up to do the piece with us. We were just down there (in early March) to do their spring concert so it's been a nice joint effort."

WSU's students look strong in the ball-passing piece, she said, and in other dances for the concert. All of the dance faculty members are dancing and/or choreographing.

"We've got new works from Stephanie Thibeault and Cheyla Clawson (adjunct)," Vasquez said. "And we have a guest solo artist coming in from the University of Georgia, Rebecca Enghauser."

Faculty member Denise Celestin is performing "Flying Falling," which was entered in the American College Dance Festival at Friends University, said Vasquez. She also is working with a student piece from the Friends festival that made it into the gala performance.

Vasquez, who was recently honored with the 2007 Kansas Arts Commission fellowship award for dance choreography, also has two pieces in the show, including one from last semester called "Rough Housing," which she has performed with Nick Johnson, director of dance who is on sabbatical for a multimedia project with Wichita's Arts Partners, a public-school initiative, and Buckner Elementary School.

The Contemporary Dance Theatre Spring Concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14, in Miller Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 with discounts available. For more information, call the College of Fine Arts Box Office at 978-3233.

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