FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 2, 2014
Uptown Dance Company and Uptown Dance Company II
Dance Infusion 2014
“Gulledge-Brown has chosen quality and sophisticated material for her company to perform. Good dancing is the core and strength of this fusion (or infusion) of artists.”
– Nichelle Suzanne Strzepek, Dance Source Houston, 2009
Uptown Dance Company celebrates its tenth season with Dance Infusion 2014 on Saturday, October 11th, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at the I. W. Marks Theater Center – Kaplan Theatre. Dance Infusion 2014 is a contemporary and classical ballet and modern infused dance concert, featuring Uptown Dance Company and Uptown Dance Company II in works by Artistic Director Beth Gulledge-Brown, Adrian Ciobanu, Alex Pandiscio, Tina Kay Bohnstedt, Emily Roy, and Eric Glenn.
Dance Infusion 2014 features a mix of seasoned professionals and new talent, all with extensive ballet, jazz and modern training. Artistic Director Beth Gulledge-Brown premieres Collide, a contemporary jazz work combined with the fluidity of modern dance. Gulledge-Brown choreographs for the unique talents of the Uptown Dance Company professional dancers, choosing mature themes best suited for their professional abilities. Collide is no exception, as it lays bare the truth of relationships from all angles – the good, the bad and the ugly. Collide is set in three sections – a pas de deux, small groups, and a full company ensemble – to the music of OneRepublic. Gulledge-Brown also presents the contemporary ballet, Reflection, for both UDC and UDC II members. Gulledge-Brown interprets the driving forces of Piano Concerto No. 3 by Prokofiev and the jazz-infused rhythms of Piano Concerto in G Major by Ravel in movement.
Co-Director Adrian Ciobanu restages excerpts from Petipa’s classical ballet, Don Quixote, based on the famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. Ciobanu, a classical ballet dancer himself, uses a mix of both UDC and UDC II members in Don Quixote Suites to feature the classically trained technique of both companies.
On the Edge, choreographed by Guest Choreographer Tina Kay Bohnstedt, depicts the intricacy and frantic scheduling of our lives in present day society – business, family, friends, school, relations, travels – all are interwoven into a routine that makes up our days. “It’s hard to establish that ease and flow, and it shows in daily life,” comments Bohnstedt. On the Edge is choreographed to the intense music of composer Arvo Pärt’s Fratres for Violin, String and Orchestra.
Emily Roy premieres Les étage, a contemporary modern work for UDC II. Roy chose not to develop a theme for her piece, instead she simply explored movement quality and choreographic concepts. Les étage literally means the stage – a symbol of Roy’s eagerness to work with the floor, and teach the dancers to do the same. Roy uses the stage, as well as the driving beats of composer Saltillo’s music, as an integral part of the choreography. “I purposely did not connect the words in the poem of Saltillo’s music to movement,” remarks Roy, “I felt the song was a piece of art by itself and did not need amplification. Instead I chose movements encouraged by the rise and fall of the music.”
Liminal Wonders rounds out the Dance Infusion 2014 program. Liminal Wonders, choreographed by Ballet Master Alex Pandiscio, is a contemporary ballet for nine dancers set to the music of 21st century American composers, William Bolcom, William Byrd (arr. Nico Muhly), and Michael Torke. Pandiscio was inspired by the concept of liminality, as expressed in Gabriel García Márquez’s short story, Eyes of a Blue Dog. “Liminality is the condition of being on a threshold, between two places, or at the beginning of a process. I wanted to explore this idea through dance by “exploding” a moment in time and space,” Pandiscio states, “I approached the choreographic process as a collaborative stream-of-consciousness. The audience may notice that images and motifs echo across the work, suggesting that perhaps the dancers exist not simply in but also between their three worlds.”
Uptown Dance Company and Uptown Dance Company II present Dance Infusion 2014 on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at I.W. Marks Theatre Center –Kaplan Theatre, Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, 5601 South Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096. Tickets are $30 General Admission / $25 Senior/ $15 Student with College I.D. For tickets and information, call 713-686-0334 or visit the website at www.uptowndance.org.
Uptown Dance Company was originally founded in 1999 by Gulledge-Brown. Gulledge-Brown understood the need to supplement her students’ training with performance skills and founded the company to provide a performing outlet for her advanced students. Gulledge-Brown’s studio has grown and her vision has grown right along with it, Uptown Dance Centre now houses two companies: one for advanced students and one for professionals. Her students continue to perform in the pre-professional company, now Uptown Dance Company II, as Uptown Dance Company continues forward as a professional company. Uptown Dance Company members include Erica Blumenthal, Adrian Ciobanu (formerly of Sarasota Ballet), Lindsay Cortner, Eric Glenn, Amy Phillips, Emily Roy, Donald Sayre, Ruben Trevino, and Katie Trevino.
WHAT: Uptown Dance Company and Uptown Dance Company II present Dance Infusion 2014
WHEN: Saturday, October 11, 2014 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
I.W. Marks Theatre Center – Kaplan Theatre
Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston
5601 South Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096
Ticket Prices: $30 General admission / $25 Senior/ $15 Student with College I.D.
FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION:
713-686-0334 or www.uptowndance.org