The UWM Peck School of the Arts Dance Department launches its fifth season of summer dance in June. The summer season includes Summerdances (June 25-27) one of two annual faculty concerts, and Dancemakers (July 30-31), two evenings of work by the professional dancers and choreographers who travel to Milwaukee each summer to pursue graduate degrees in dance. All concerts take place in the Mainstage Theatre, 2400 East Kenwood Boulevard on the UWM campus. Tickets for Summerdances are $16/$9 for students and seniors and tickets for Dancemakers are $8/$5 for students and seniors. For tickets or further information, please call the Peck School of the Arts Box Office at (414) 229-4308. Summerdances opens June 25 at 7:30 pm and will be repeated June 26 at 7:30 pm and June 27 at 3 pm. An informal reception follows the Friday evening performance. This summer’s concert will introduce new faculty member Darci Wutz and will feature a premiere by faculty member Simone Ferro and an excerpt of a work by New York-based choreographer and MacArthur genius award winner Susan Marshall. Marshall will offer an Open Forum on Creative Process on Sunday, June 20 at 1 PM in Mitchell Hall, 3203 North Downer Avenue (Room 254). The forum is free and open to the public. Wutz, who joined the faculty in the fall, will offer two works: Isolation en Masse, a tap piece for eleven women, 22 white tap shoes, and some high-powered flashlights, and Encounter, a jazz sextet. In Encounter, three men and three women explore sexual attraction in a series of trios and duets. Wutz holds a BFA in Theatre with a dance emphasis from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Smith College. Before joining the faculty at UWM, Wutz taught at UMD, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Alverno and served as director of dance in the Department of Performing Arts at Marquette University. Her choreography credits include more than 30 productions, many of them in musical theatre, at the local, regional, and national level. In Milwaukee, Wutz’s work has been seen at performances by virtually every theatre company including the Milwaukee Rep, Skylight Opera Theatre, Sunset Playhouse, and Milwaukee Shakespeare. Wutz teaches tap, jazz and musical theatre styles at UWM. She was recently awarded a UWM Graduate School Research award to develop a musical theatre performance project for the 2004-2005 season. Simone Ferro’s Tangle Grosso is a collaboration with composer Josh Schmidt and filmmaker Shuling Hsieh. The large ensemble dance for 15 is based on the Argentine tango, but mixes modern vocabulary with authentic tango steps. According to Ed Burgess, chair of the Dance Department, Unique footwork, partnering, gender reversal, melodrama, innuendo, sensuality, and the powerful rhythms of the tango form are celebrated in a rich tapestry. Ferro, a native of Brazil, has just completed her third year on the UWM faculty. She had a notable career as a dancer and choreographer in Latin America and Europe before receiving an MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa. Ferro recently appeared with Wild Space Dance Company at Turner Hall and will participate as a performer and choreographer in Mixed Six at Danceworks in August. The excerpt from Susan Marshall’s The Most Dangerous Room in the House is the culmination of a year-long project with Marshall’s company, supported in part by a grant from the National College Choreography Initiative (a joint project of Dance/USA and the National Endowment for the Arts). In October, the Peck School of the Arts welcomed the New York-based Susan Marshall and Company for a residency and performance of Marshall’s newest work, Sleeping Beauty and Other Stories. Two members of Marshall’s company returned for two weeks in April to set this signature work on the UWM Dance students and to offer classes and workshops on campus and at the studios of Milwaukee Ballet. Susan Marshall will return to Milwaukee in June to prepare the piece for performance. While in town, she will offer a workshop on the creative process for members of the local dance community as well as the Open Forum on Creative Process on June 20. At the end of July, the Dance Department will offer its fourth formal concert of graduate student work, Dancemakers, July 30 and 31 at 7:30 PM. UWM has offered an M.F.A. degree in dance since 1997, and has attracted more than its share of noted professionals to the program, among them Allyson Green and Hetty King. As the program has grown, the balance has shifted toward graduate students with a primary interest in choreography for the concert stage, and Dancemakers has become a natural conclusion to the intensive summer program. This summer, the volume of workprimarily by established choreographers currently pursuing an advanced degree at UWMis large enough to sustain two different concert programs. As has become traditional, there will also be a showing of works-in-progress on Sunday, August 1 at 2 pm in the Mainstage Theatre. Among the students in this summer’s program who will offer work are New York-based choreographer/performers Clare Byrne, of Clare Byrne Dance; Sara Baird of Anemone Dance Theatre; Aviva Geismar of Drastic Action; Mary Cochran (formerly of the Paul Taylor Dance Company); and Molly Rabinowitz. Rodger Belman, also based in New York, will be offering a part of his thesis project, a reconstruction of Yvonne Rainer’s Chair/Pillow, and Catey Ott, recently returned from a decade in New York, will restore a solo created for another dancer. Other choreographers include Hilary Bryan of Frank and Bryan Worldwide Movers, Oakland, CA; Peggy Choy of the UW Madison dance faculty; and Joyce Dohnal who teaches in Kenosha. Guest artist Barbara Grubel, who recently joined the faculty at UW-Whitewater, will teach modern dance technique and will set a piece on the graduate students while in residence at UWM.
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