Purdue Dance Company to present Spring Works concert

April 16, 2014  

Welchans Ascensioin

"Ascension" is one of seven dances to be performed by the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company during its Spring Works 2014 dance concert May 2-3. "Ascension" was choreographed by guest artist Bill Wade in 2006, and it involves three couples who continually partner with one another, often sharing their roles equally. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download Photo

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Contemporary Dance Company will present its Spring Works 2014 dance concert May 2-3.  

PCDC is the resident dance company in the Division of Dance, housed in the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. Faculty, students and a guest artist will perform seven dance works this semester for the company.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. each evening with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on May 3. All performances will take place in the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre in Purdue's Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts. Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for students and $7 for those 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at all Purdue box offices (765-494-3933) and through Ticketmaster 1-800-745-3000.

Bill Wade, artistic director of Inlet Dance Theatre in Cleveland, spent a week in residency at Purdue this semester. With assistance from two of his dancers from Cleveland, he taught "Ascension," a signature work from Inlet Dance Theatre, to members of PCDC.

"This provided the students with an experience of working with professional dancers, and performing in a work that has a different flavor than is typically set on PCDC," said Carol Cunningham-Sigman, division dance chair. "The works created by Purdue faculty and students this semester range from more classical style modern and ballet dances to more exploratory experimental styles."

Most works are accompanied by original music and sound created by students in the Theatre Department's sound design program.

The dances are:

* "Ascension" was choreographed by guest artist Bill Wade in 2006, and it involves three couples that partner one another continually, often sharing their partnering roles equally. Purdue faculty member Sally Wallace has been directing the students in rehearsing this work.

* "Dropped Whispers" is a group work choreographed by Cunningham-Sigman. The performers evoke images of alliances emerging and disintegrating through questioning glances, surging movement phrases and contemplative stillness.

* "A Life a Day" is choreographed by faculty member Melodie Carr. This contemporary ballet pointe piece depicts the lifecycle of birth, childhood, young adulthood, into middle age and old age, as well as the energy cycles of a single day.

* "strikethrough" is choreographed by faculty member Rebecca Bryant. This piece combines contemporary dance, language, props and overhead projection, to lightheartedly investigate ideas of power and hierarchy in performance.

* "Where I Lay My Head" is choreographed by faculty member Mary Beth Van Dyke. This explores the idea of home, a complex word that can be more than just a geographic place, including the source of many different emotions. Pianist Kellie Bohling, guitarist Jordan Friend and vocalist Audrey Walts, all Purdue students, created an original score.

* "-oma" choreographed by Katie Pruitt, a graduating senior psychology major and dance minor, addresses how mortality can be a concept that unites humans. This work explores mortality salience and the expression of the five stages of dying and grieving, through movement.

* "To resume your original factory settings, please exit the theatre" is choreographed by Amberly Simpson, a senior majoring in psychology and creative writing and minoring in dance. This work presents a commentary on male and female interactions by exploring the opposite and complementary roles of gender stereotypes.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Carol Cunningham-Sigman, 765-494-5993, carolec@purdue.edu

Karla Welchans, Division of Dance at 765.494.5993, kwelchan@purdue.edu

Related website:

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