GENESEO — SUNY Geneseo is celebrating 50 years of dance at the college with one heck of a dance party.
It’s actually an incredible line-up of performances that will take place April 19-22 as part of the Dance Ensemble’s “50Live: Dancing Past to Present — Celebrating 50 Years.”
SUNY Geneseo has been dancing since 1976 and this concert pays tribute to all 5 decades of dance. The concert, artistically directed and produced by Jonette Lancos, professor of dance studies, will feature diverse, dynamic and original dance works by alumni, faculty, current students and guest artists. Mark Broomfield ’94, assistant professor of dance studies, is associate director.
Those attending the concert are invited to a pre-performance gathering highlighting lobby dances at 7:15 p.m., a pre-concert dialogue with alumni artists at 7:30 p.m., a slide history of 50 years of dance at 7:45 p.m. and a post-performance reception. At Sunday’s matinee, the pre-performance highlights will be at 1:15 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m. and the post-performance reception.
The production is artistically directed and produced by Jonette Lancos, professor of dance studies, and all dances on the program are choreographed by students and graduates of the college’s Dance Studies Program.
Alumni will appear in Energy Fusion and other commemorative works during the concert. Nona Schurman’s Songs from the Hebrides (1951) is the first dance to obtain a copyright. The work is about the hardships and joys of living on the Hebrides Islands off of the Scottish coast. Alumni artist Ambre Emory-Maier ’86 reconstructed the dance from labanotation for the first time since its creation.
Performed by current students, the dance honors the legacy of the late Professor Emerita Nona Schurman (1909-2016) and her contributions to Geneseo’s dance program. The music will be performed on piano by Simone Louie ’18. The Office of the Provost sponsored Ambre Emory-Maier’s residency.
Guest artist in residence Chung-Fu Chang, professor of dance at Colorado State University, created Wandering River based on the long sleeve dance, or water sleeve dance, one of the most imaginative and theatrical dance styles, originating in China during the Han Dynasty dating back to 206BC – 220AD. Asian/Asian American Studies and Programming and the Department of Theatre and Dance sponsored Chang’s residency.
Alumni Artist Melanie Aceto ’95 will perform a new solo, Fiefdom, inspired by the limitations imposed by dancing on a tiny terrain. Heather Klopchin ’95 will perform an excerpt from waterBRIDGE to an original music score by Scott Killian.
Naina Dewan ’95 will present a creative video, In Gratitude. The piece à distance by Shelly De Vito ’93 constructs a wobbly bridge for both time and space. Inspired by the works of Henri Bergson, Stephen Crane and several artists from the Judson crowd, à distance hints at the remote viewing that occurs between the here and there. The performer laughs with Zeno as she staggers between two points, dancing on a span of infinite distance.
Alexander MacDonald ’08 choreographed On Common Ground for current students, which is an exploration of sound and movement that celebrates thoughtful dialogue and cooperation. Sometimes in tandem, sometimes in counterpoint, the dancers forge musical connections to create a cohesive whole. MacDonald will perform on Thursday prior to his tour to Nigeria sponsored by the U. S. Embassy.
Kylee Pike Fassler ’04 restaged Falling on Five (Trip Beat), a work she created as an undergraduate in 2003. Set to Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, the dance is a fun music visualization of Dave Brubeck’s iconic work exploring the hidden notes within the trip beat.
Anthem, choreographed by faculty member Mark Broomfield ’94, celebrates the vitality, energy, spirit and afterlife of the unsung. From a musical collaboration with Gabriel “DJ Good Peoples,” the sound score creates a sonic space to experience time, imagination, and identity.
Adjunct Dance Studies faculty member Deborah Scodese French ’85 will present Agni, a Sanskrit word for fire. The dance is inspired by the element of fire, exploring its explosive, dynamic qualities and the soft subtle energies.
Nicolette Ferguson, adjunct dance studies faculty member, will present Us, a contemporary modern piece that explores the relationships and group dynamics of six people. Incorporating balances, a rich rhythmic structure and various spatial patterns, these individuals are strong and independent in smaller groups of twos and threes but even stronger, cohesive and unified as a group.
Jody DeLoria ’93-94, adjunct dance studies faculty member, will perform #HerToo. Choreographed by Lianne Hart, the solo draws upon an iconic figure, who questions her own happiness. Alumnae sisters, Stephanie Willmarth Bock ’14 and Alyssa Willmarth ’16 will perform How It Ends, a work about change as an inevitable part of life that sparks an array of emotions.
Human Instruments, with music by Paul Simons (Graceland), is a mixture of set contemporary movement and improvisation structured by alumna Megan Roberts ’15, featuring Bridget Beermann ’17, Kristen Czerwinski ’16, Keriann Dengos ’15, Laura Dolan ’17, Ashley Palacios Okafor ’14, Teagan Plimpton ’17, Megan Roberts ’15, and Alexandra Sherry ’17.
Student directors for the concert are Teresa Beckman’18, Katherine, Bensburg ’19, Emily Ellmann ’18, and Taylor Gerner ’18. Nikko Garmendiz, Lila Klatz, Rachel Appell, and Catie Henzel are stage managers. Lighting designers are Kelsey Bendlin ’13, Rachel Britton ’18, Adam Brown ’17, Daniel Brunk ’08, Jake Fine ’08, Kim Imhof ’93, Renee Madathil ’05, Douglas Nobel ’86 and Steven Stubblefield, associate professor of theatre.
Johnnie Ferrell, associate professor theatre, is technical director, lighting designer, and sound designer. Bonita Stubblefield ’82, lecturer in theatre, is designing and coordinating costumes.
Support for the concert is provided by generous Concert Program Sponsors and 50-Year Celebration Sponsors of the Dance Studies Program through The Geneseo Foundation.
The event will take place April 19-22 in the Alice Austin Theatre. The Thursday through Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. and the Sunday matinee begins at 2 o’clock. Tickets are $10 and available through the Student Association Ticket Office or online.