Hubler Returns for Webster University Dance Ensemble April 17-19

| April 3, 2015
The 2015 Webster University Dance Ensemble performs April 17-19 on the Browning Mainstage at the Loretto-Hilton Center. (Photo credit: Gerry Love)

The 2015 Webster University Dance Ensemble performs April 17-19 on the Browning Mainstage at the Loretto-Hilton Center. (Photo credit: Gerry Love)

The Webster University Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts Department of Dance presents the 2015 Webster University Dance Ensemble (WUDE) April 17-19, under the artistic direction of Beckah Reed. This year’s diverse annual concert includes six choreographers who have created original works in ballet, contemporary and aerial dance, with live music and video.

This diverse concert of narrative and abstract dance features music that uses lyrics, or creates soundscapes in your imagination. “The technical prowess and artistic elegance portrayed by the performers is exemplary,” said Reed. “The creative integrity of the choreographers is enlightening. The numerous collaborations during the evening support the ensemble nature of the department.”

Showtimes and Tickets
  • Friday, April 17, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m.

Performances will be held on the Browning Mainstage of the Loretto-Hilton Center. Admission is $12 for the general public and $6 for students and seniors. Contact the Fine Arts Hotline at 314-968-7128 for tickets, or for more information.

Artist Concepts: Returning and Visiting Artists

The Department of Dance welcomes faculty emeritus Gary Hubler, for the resetting of a 1997 premier, “Can’t Get There From Here.” Hubler describes the feelings he experiences while setting a work after nearly a decade away. “Being back is a mix of emotions,” said Hubler. “Just spending time in a place that you helped create makes me more aware that it’s a life time ago. Working with the students has been more of a return to the past than I expected. The students of dance today have the same issues good and bad of the ones I worked with a decade ago. This has made it a fun venture for me.”

It has become a tradition to invite an alumna to return and set a work on the students. This year the Department of Dance is proud to have hosted Tymberly Canale, who trained with Hubler, over two decades ago. Canale is a dancer, actor, choreographer and educator who has collaborated and performed with New York-based Big Dance Theater since 1995, most recently appearing in “Alan Smithee Directed This Play” in the 2014 BAM Harvey Next Wave Festival. She also was honored to dance several duets with Mikhail Baryshnikov in “Man in a Case” through an extensive 2013/2014 United States tour. Canale collaborated with Los Angeles filmmaker and actor Linas Phillips to create a dance theatre piece about misunderstandings, seemingly unimportant moments and long distance love.

Guest artists Ryan T. Smith and Wendy Rein, artistic directors of the San Francisco-based RAWdance, spent an intensive week with our students creating “Surfacing”, an ensemble work for ten dancers. A quiet tension lives at the heart of the work, which launched from a single image of two people separated by a long table. Fragmented connections materialize and dissipate as sweeping group sections give way to flashes of tenderness.

“Old Songs On The Radio,” choreographed by Department of Dance chair James Robey and featuring vocalist Melissa Gerth with jazz musicians from the Webster University Department of Music, tells a playful story of enduring love and compassion using a jazz club as the background. “For me personally, ‘Old Songs On The Radio’ is a love letter to two of my passions in life, my wife (who collaborates on this work as the vocalist) and jazz music,” said Robey.

Monica Newsam has created an aerial work this year, based on the early beliefs that the earth was flat, and three-headed dragons lived underwater, producing earthquakes, controlling the seasons and shaping the geography of the earth. Dancers will swing and bounce off of a vertical wall, swirl through the center of the ceiling of the stage, and crawl, grasp and hang through tendrils dangling to the ground.

Webster adjunct faculty member Michael Uthoff has created a new ballet especially with the Webster students in mind. “A Webster Bouquet is a quick and happy dance!” says Uthoff.  It provides an opportunity for Webster students to enter the world of traditional, classical ballet. Sergei Prokovieff’s “Classical Symphony #1” is the inspiration for the movement expression.

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Category: Faculty, Student Affairs and News, The Arts, Webster Events

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