Dance Concert Promises Variety, Emotional Depth
by Sean Flynt
The Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series at Samford University will present Moving Thoughts, a dance concert, March 31-April 3.
The concert will feature a variety of dance genres and musical styles, from contemporary ballet to hip-hop, Mozart to pop. Samford's Coordinator of Dance Lisa Gibbs said some of the concert will be playful but noted that the dancers will often be presenting challenging emotional themes. "I wanted to bring some depth to our production, to express what it is to be human," Gibbs said of this year's concert. “My choreographers have a lot to say about life.”
That depth will be especially evident in the second half of the concert, comprised entirely of an original work about the aftermath of tragic loss. "Wounded Wings," a story ballet set to the music of Sheryl Crow, is a collaboration between Gibbs and students Emily McLeod and Milan Mayo. "I can't even think about it without crying," Gibbs said. "It's very powerful."
"Wounded Wings" began as a memorial to a friend of McLeod's who died by suicide, but it has grown into a universal reflection on all types of loss. "I can't wait to share it because I think it really has the ability to touch some lives," McLeod said. "Loss is something that nobody ever wants to talk about, especially suicide. When it happens and you do start talking about it you realize that a lot more people are affected by it than you know. That's what we as dancers do this for--to 'talk' to people without talking."
Gibbs scheduled two related events to call attention to the concert's themes and involve the Samford community in a discussion about them. The Alpha Psi Omega Theater Honor Society and Dansynthesis dance ensemble will host a community drum circle March 28 from 5-7 p.m. in front of Harrison Theatre. On March 29, Lisa Dunn, president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Awareness, will present a short film and discussion from 10:00 to 11:00 am in the Harrison Theatre.
Other concert highlights will include a new work by dancer/choreographer Michael Fothergill of the Alabama Ballet, featuring Alabama Ballet dancer Jennifer Ferrigno and Samford student musicians Becca and Hannah Frees. Graphic design major Lindsay Calhoun, who designed the concert poster, will display her artwork in the Harrison Theatre lobby.
Moving Thoughts will begin at 7:30 p.m. March 31-April 1, and at 2:30 p.m. April 2-3. The April 2 performance originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. was moved to the earlier time to accommodate a community-wide arts event in Wright Center in support of Japan relief. Portions of Moving Thoughts will be included in that separate event. All performances of the complete Moving Thoughts concert will be in Samford's Harrison Theatre.
Tickets for Moving Thoughts are $12 (adult,) $9 (55+) and $6 (student/child). Purchase tickets online or call (205) 726-2853.