Sometimes, the most difficult ideas and questions can be faced with just a few dancers and a stage. “New Dances 2014,” a compilation dance show put on by the UAA Dance Department, will open with an exploration of conformity and the human urge to break away from it.
The piece in question is called “is it about time,” choreographed by returning guest choreographer and nine-year STOMP veteran Nicholas Young. STOMP is a percussion group from Brighton, U.K., that has all over the world.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said assistant professor of dance Brian Jeffery on working with Young, “but it also comes with a lot of bruises and welts all over the body.”
Alongside Young’s piece, students, dancers and professors choreographed their own performances.
Young choreographed his piece and worked with the Anchorage community earlier this year.
“Words are very specific,” said freshman theater major and dance minor Katie O’Laughlin, “but dance can be taken any way the audience wants to take it.”
O’Laughlin will be performing in student choreographer Dayoung Yoo’s piece entitled “Story,” director of Momentum Dance Collective Becky Kendall’s “Inner Discourse” and term professor Katherine Kramer’s “Tap Water.”
“The piece is more a musical composition than it is a dance,” said term instructor Katherine Kramer. “The focus of this piece is on rhythmic complexity and musicality.”
Kramer’s performers will be dancing to Latin jazz bassist Orlando Lopez’s music.
“I’ve always wanted to use this particular piece of music as a competition,” said Kramer, “and suddenly the opportunity showed up for me to do it.”
Other pieces include Jeffery’s “Recalibrating.”
“Some works in the program are concerned with alluding to a narrative,” said Jeffery, “but I want to leave this piece up to the audience’s impressions.”
In addition, Pulse Dance Company Director Stephanie Wonchala is putting on “No Strings Attached” and Gabe Harvey’s showcase of hip-hop dance. Harvey is the director of Underground Dance Company and a UAA dance program adjunct professor.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” O’Laughlin said. “Each piece is choreographed by somebody different. Even if you don’t like one piece, the next piece will be completely different.”
“New Dances 2014” will take place in the Mainstage Theatre Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. from April 11-20. Tickets are $15 for the public and $12 for UAA students.