The UNLV department of dance presents In Composition, a collaborative concert between the department of dance and School of Music that creates an exciting program of new music and choreography. In Composition will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, and 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in the Judy Bayley Theatre.
Act One features choreographer Dolly Kelepecz-Momot and composer Diego Vega’s ballet collaboration depicting Latin music, culture, and dance, Mountains to Sea. The piece has four short movements that deconstruct the traditional styles of music from Vega’s homeland of Columbia.
Choreographer Margot Mink Colbert and composer Cynthia Wong contribute Three Short Pieces, devised through the exploration of movement motivated by the sound of the composition, thereby creating two parallel art forms. The work was first choreographed for “Midsummer Night’s Dances,” a program performed in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the summer of 2017.
Rounding out the first act is choreographer Richard Havey and composer Jennifer Bellor’s collaboration of Bellor’s music Chase The Stars from her album Stay. Bellor’s Stay was featured on NewMusicBox’s staff picks as displaying a “wonderful demonstration of how to maintain a highly individual compositional identity without needing to take refuge in pre-post-genre musical silos.” (Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox). Chase The Stars is sung live by Bellor, with the rap voice of Rasar Amani.
Act Two features department of dance chair Louis Kavouras and music director/composer-in-residence Beth Mehocic. They have collaborated on a new work entitled Resonant String, which creates a fabric of motion with disparate interactions that ebb and flow from the voluminous field of space. Mehocic’s score, Interactions for Viola and Synthesized Sounds, creates the aural backdrop and environment for the choreography. Nancy Uscher, dean of the UNLV College of Fine Arts, performs viola on the piece.
Flight of an African Grey is by choreographer Vikki Baltimore-Dale and Beth Mehocic, choreographed to Picasso’s Flight for String Quartet by Mehocic. The music was inspired by Mehocic’s caged African grey parrot, Picasso, who sits in his cage and, Mehocic says, dreams about flying. "He does all these amazing jumps, turns, and balances in his cage, but when let out, all he can do is flap his wings and glide to the floor," Mehocic said. "You can almost sense Picasso’s dream of soaring in the clouds, and the sound effects in the strings give the illusion of fluttering wings."
Act Two ends with a kind of “dance by chance” for choreographer Cathy Allen and composer Charles Halka, who have engaged in the creative process for Falling From The Curve. The music consists entirely of sounds from various objects and instruments that Halka has collected over the years. After seeing Allen’s work and attending rehearsals, he knew some of these sound combinations would fit perfectly. According to Halka, the long, sustained harmonies, quiet rustlings, layered textures, and jaggedly percussive bursts serve as a backdrop to the intimate, sometimes restrained, sometimes impulsive, and always beautifully shaped movement in Allen’s choreography.
All seats are $18, with $10 tickets available for seniors, military, students, UNLV faculty, staff, and alumni. Tickets may be purchased at the UNLV Performing Arts Center box office at pac.unlv.edu or by calling 702-895-ARTS (2787).