Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ISU Spring Dance Concert April 29 - May 1

Illinois State Dance Theatre's spring concert, including choreography by students, faculty and recent guest artist Jon Lehrer, springs to life April 29, 30 and May 1. All three performances -- 7:30 p.m. on the 29th and 30th and 2 p.m. matinee on May 1 -- are scheduled to take place in ISU's Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets are $15 for the general public and ISU faculty-staff, and $10 for students and anyone 60 years and older. They can be purchased at the Center for the Performing Arts box office at (309) 438-2535.

Jon Lehrer is founder and artistic director of Lehrer Dance in Buffalo, N.Y. During his five-day residency at Illinois State in March, he created an original work, “Hearth,” around members of ISDT. "Hearth" will premiere in this concert, and Lehrer will restage the work with his own dance company next season. "Hearth" is performed to music by Damien Simon.

As a professional, Jon Lehrer has danced with numerous companies, including the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. After three years with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, he was promoted to rehearsal director and, two years later, associate director. During his 10 years with Giordano, Lehrer also became the resident choreographer, creating seven original works on the company that received rave reviews all around the world. In July 2007, he moved to Buffalo to begin his professional dance company, a company that showcases his unique choreography and definitive style. In its short history, LehrerDance has received international recognition, and the company teaching master classes throughout the U.S. and around the world.

2004 ISU alumna Marideth Wanat, principal dancer and founding member of Lehrer Dance, accompanied Lehrer during his ISU residency. Wanat was also named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch – Who Will Shine in ’09” in January of last year.

Other pieces in the spring ISDT program include “Rug with Tea” and "Last Push," created by ISDT director Sara Semonis. "Rug with Tea" will be performed to music by Schubert, while "Last Push" will be danced to music from the Japanese drum group Kodo.

Also on the program are “Please Don’t Leave Me (if we ever were to be)” to the music of Bessie Smith and Gertrude Lawrence, choreographed by senior Kelly Hume, and “Ecstasy at the Last Supper,” which dance faculty member Leslie Pamela Walden choregraphed to music by British composer Jocelyn Montgomery.

Bonnie Christine Willis, a senior from Normal, choreographed “Pinnacle or Precipice” to music composed by Terry Riley. It will be followed by a piece titled “Passages” by dance faculty member Darby Wilde to the music of Antonio Vivaldi.

Faculty member Greg Merriman choreographed the final two pieces on the program. The first, “Four Female Variations” presents the female variations from “Flower Festival,” “Grande Pas Classique,” “La Esmeralda” and “Le Corsaire.” Merriman choreographed the piece after famed choreographers August Bournonville, Marius Petipa, Jules Perrot and Joseph Mazilier. The music is composed by Helsted, Auber, Pugni and Adam. His second piece is “The Queen is Dead” to the first movement of Mozart’s Horn concerto No. 1.

Julie Mack did the lighting design for the entire show, while faculty members Lauren Lowell and Rob Goode and students K. Claire Kemock, Brittany Smith, Shana Hall, Brittney Nicole Smith, Lisa Hempel and Judith Rivera-Ramirez contributed costume designs.

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