UTPA Dance Ensemble performs Nov. 16-19
Posted: 11/13/2006
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The University of Texas-Pan American Dance Ensemble will present its annual Fall Concert Nov. 16-18, 7:30 p.m. and Nov.19, 2 p.m. in the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium. The concert will include works by guest artists Carley Conder and Adrienne Clancy as well as new works by UTPA Dance Ensemble Artistic Directors Melinda Blomquist and Dana Shackelford.

Conder restaged, "Common Ground," with music by Dead Can Dance, and will be the opening piece in the concert. "Common Ground" describes a journey of a close-knit community that travels from a place of defensive action and high tension to a more vulnerable state that allows for greater freedom.

- UTPA Dance Ensemble members
There is an individualist within the group that threatens to unravel long understood traditions. The dance investigates how communities deal with conflict and how change can strengthen even the most long held beliefs. "Common Ground" is the 2001 Grand Prize Winner of the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition in California.

Clancy's work, "Spinning Webs/Creating New Worlds," features the full company. Beginning new adventures and walking new paths often feels like getting caught in a spider's web that one did not know was in front of them. How can the initiative to start something new spin into a place where one does not feel the tension of being caught in someone's threads? "Spinning Webs/Creating New Worlds," with movement interpretation and contributions by members of the UTPA Dance Ensemble, seeks to break down the walls created from the fear of venturing on new paths, to an exciting realm of possibilities that is spun into existence with the advancement of initiating first step forward.

Blomquist's new choreographic work, "Your Trials Are Only A Moment," deals with the fact that every individual is faced with trials and obstacles that they must deal with. We can either ignore the obstacle and pretend that it is not a part of our life, or find a way to deal with the obstacle and learn from the experience. The process of facing our trials and working through them is the focus of this new work.

Shackelford will be presenting two pieces "Gestural Echoes" and "Air." "Gestural Echoes" with music by Steve Reich, Coldcut remix, is an exploration of historical and contemporary gestures. This quintet is an interplay of the poses and shapes our bodies take on in times of contemplation, accomplishment, vulnerability and relaxation. These gestures define a mood and are often the subject matter for painters and sculptors. The creation of this work was also inspired by Reich's idea of repeating a series of chords at the beginning of the piece and building into a sum greater than its parts, just as the dancers build upon moments of stillness into a whirlwind of movement. "Air," a solo set to Bach's "Air from Suite No. 3 in D" for Orchestra will be danced by senior dance major Brittany Flowers.

Members of the 2006-2007 UTPA Dance Ensemble include Jose Aguillon, Bianca Noemi Cantu, Adina Flores, Aissa Nicole Garza, Rosy Gonzalez, D. Crystal Medrano, Rocio Molina, Julissa G. Ramirez, Desi Villarreal, and Mary C. Wantland.

Tickets are available at the UTPA Payments and Collections Office, Student Services Building, Room 115, and will also be available at the door. Ticket prices are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and student/child ticket(s) are available at the door for $5. The UTPA Payments and Collections Office can be reached at 956/381-2715.

For additional information, contact the Dance Program Office at 956/381-2230 or visit our Web site at