Performance celebrates many dance forms



by Luke Glaser

This weekend at the Singletary Center for the Arts, UK Dance Ensemble took audiences to India, the jungles of Puerto Rico and everywhere in between.

As part of their fall concert, more than 20 dancers took part in 14 dance pieces to create an interpretation of the many faces and feet that are a part of what it means to dance.

Some pieces, like “A Gypsy’s Journey” and “Un Dia en el Yunque” were cultural submersions, incorporating regional dances such as belly dancing and salsa with modern twists. Others, like “Realization” and “Flux,” were modern explorations into themes common to many young adults. “Acceptance” depicted the journey to discover where one belongs.

“The message behind it was powerful,” undeclared freshman Tori Dane said. “It really meant a lot.”

Audra Flanagan, the graduating senior in the troupe, said she loved performing “Acceptance.”

“It is an idea everyone can relate to,” Flanagan said. “Everyone feels like the black sheep at some point.”

Erica Maryman, kinesiology senior, said she enjoyed dancing in “Tralfamadorian Boogie,” a modern piece based on the writing of Kurt Vonnegut.

“We got to vocalize as well as move” Maryman said. “It was fun to do and fun to watch.”

The “Tralfamadorian Boogie,” accompanied by a jazzy music, celebrated nonconformity and wackiness in the most ordinary looking people.

The evening ended with the presentation of the Mary King Montgomery Kouns Choreography Award. Arts administration senior Kelsey Shackelford recieved the award for a piece she created last spring about students wearing iPods to class, stuck inside their own worlds and blind to all around them.

“Kelsey’s growth and movement was not in the normal style, and it made for a very relevant piece” said Rayma Beal, adviser to the Dance Ensemble.

This season, Shackelford choreographed “Have No Fear,” a piece about the occasional gray area between good and evil.

From one choreographer’s depiction of memories of her grandmother in church to another’s interpretation of the inevitable loss of innocence, the pieces transported audiences around the world and into the human psyche during the Fall Concert.

Like Shackelford, Flanagan credits the performance’s success to the dancers’ passion for their art.

“Do what you love,” Flanagan said. “If you love to dance, then dance.”