DANCETCU returns to the stage this weekend


    Ballet, modern and post-modern dance will be showcased this weekend at the 65th annual DANCETCU In Concert.

    In addition to a guest choreographer from New York, faculty in the School for Classical and Contemporary Dance created the dances.

    Faculty choreographers include Nina Martin, Dr. Suki John and Li-Chou Cheng. Martin will present her debut piece for the concert titled Liminal Territories, while John offers a modern Cuban peice. Cheng will showcase traditional folk dance forms that have been transformed into ballet.

    Heidi Lansky of Heidi Lansky Dance, a dancing copmany located in New York City, will present Interlude. It is a “minimalist modern” piece depicting her grieving process of her father’s death last year, John said.

    Finally, DANCETCU brings the late Gerald Arpino’s choreography to the stage with his neo-romantic ballet Birthday Variations. John said he is “one of the most important choreographers of the 20th century.”

    Liminal Territories is a post-modern dance exploring the relationship between “traditional movements with developmental patterns.”

    The piece will be performed on a large sheet of photographic paper, which provides a slippery surface for the movements simulating in utero motions.

    A light show featuring natural elements such as bubbles, water and red blood cells will accompany the eight barefoot dancers.

    Martin brings 17 years of experience in choreography in the post-modern scene of New York City to her piece.

    Martin commissioned the original music score by New York composer Loren Dempster for this performance.

    John brings a different style with her Cuban modern piece. John will present her background in Cuban research through her piece Quimbombó. This is the first time Cuban choreography set to Cuban music will be showcased at TCU.

    John discovered the music, composed by Cuban musician José Maria Vitier, over a decade ago. However, she found out last year from Vitier that the piece has always been improvised and never written down.

    To acquire the music, John commissioned resident accompanist John Hopkins to transcribe and arrange the piece for a live performance. The three-part piece will feature the flute, drums and piano.

    Quimbombó takes the audience on a journey beginning with European influence to Afro-Cuban impact and back to Europe.

    “We have a history of taking things from Africa and the Americas and turning it in to something new,” said John.

    Her piece depicts the cycle of American slaves mimicking the plantation owners’ dances followed by the owners’ depictions of the slaves’ mimics. The cycle continued for generations of the two groups copying each other’s changing styles and creating new types of dance.

    John’s costumes bring together the two cultures with European colonial-influenced hoop skirts combined with rich African fabrics.

    The event will take place in the Scott Theater at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door for $10.