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Dance to present ‘Fall and Recovery,’ Nov. 16-18

Raven Cormier, a junior from Orange, practices her routine for the upcoming performance of “Fall and Recovery” in the University Theatre, Oct. 31. UP photo by Noah Dawlearn
Raven Cormier, a junior from Orange, practices her routine for the upcoming
performance of “Fall and Recovery” in the University Theatre, Oct. 31.
UP photo by Noah Dawlearn

Aerial silks. Cowboy boots. A suitcase and a stage.

These are just a few of the things one can expect to see during Lamar’s fall dance concert. “Fall and Recovery” will feature all genres across dance, from jazz and tap and contemporary to the two-step.

“People can always expect to be entertained from our concerts,” Travis Prokop, assistant professor of theatre and dance, said. “This year, the caliber of our dancers is through the roof. Their ability gets better and better every semester. I feel like this semester, in particular, people will be really impressed by their technical ability and their artistry through their performances.”

The concert will include an array of dances from several faculty members in the department of dance and theatre including Prokop, department chair Golden Wright, Lucy Arrington and Amy Elizabeth.

“This year, it is predominately only faculty,” Prokop said. “All works the audience is going to see is just from our faculty. We still have Miss Lou (Arrington) who plans on doing a nice little Texas kind of musical theatre number, and she is always really good at giving us our classics in terms of ballet, musical theatre and all genres that everybody loves.

“I have not seen Golden Wright’s work, but I’ve heard it has a lot of partnering work about interpersonal connections. Then, we have Amy Elizabeth, who is doing a contemporary work and is working with her company which is called ‘Aimed Dance.’ She has a lot of her own company members mixed with maybe one or two Lamar students to do some contemporary work.”

Prokop will present his own dance performances — ‘Make Me a Bird’ and ‘Carry On’ — which include both aerial silks and contemporary movements.

“We have some aerial work again which I choreographed this year,” he said. “It’s about escaping. I was inspired by that quote from Forrest Gump, ‘Make me a bird so I can fly far far away.’ It’s all about escaping and being dissatisfied with the here and now and just trying to get some space. What’s interesting about that, is that it is a different dancer every night. So, depending on what night you come you’ll see a completely different performance from that particular dance.

“My other dance is called ‘Carry On.’ It’s a large contemporary group number — very athletic, very fast-paced modern work. It’s about trying to ground yourself and telling yourself you are making the right choices, and owning the decisions you make.”

Elizabeth’s dance will feature a unique synchronic-type dance, Prokop said.

“It’s called ‘Cadence,’ and it’s a study exploration of everything you associate with the word cadence — the rhythm and the play of time,” he said. “Now that you have bodies you can kind of make that sound-score visual that she is going to play with.”

Arrington’s dance is a country number that Prokop said the audience will enjoy.

“Miss Lou’s dance is all about Texas,” he said. “I think a lot of people will really love that, especially if they are a native-born Texan. She uses a lot of country music and songs I remember my dad and my grandpa listening to, so it immediately brings me back to being a child.”

Prokop said all the students and dancers are adapting well to their character roles and pushing both the faculty and themselves.

“As they grow, that pushes us as choreographers, because we can do more meaningful work and push the level of content in terms of what we do with our art,” he said. “The better they get, the better we get and that says volumes for our concert. Every year you can plan for it to be better and better.

“The word ‘push’ is what I keep thinking of. In my dances, I’m pushing the boundaries of danger and a little bit of comfortability with the costume change. We’re pushing our dancers. We’re pushing the limits of dance and what is dance. You are not only going to come here and see a dance performance, but see an evening of art.”

Prokop said he is excited to see what the other faculty members have put together and encourages everyone to come out and enjoy the evening.

“It’s a chance for Beaumont-ites to come out and see fine art,” he said. “I tell my students that this isn’t so much as a dance recital as it is a dance concert with an evening of full realized work. We have an entire semester to really dive into this work, and (we) ask the students to dive in character wise. Because we are theatre and dance, it’s not just movement on stage, but a full realization of the character and body movement that people will see.”

Fall and Recovery is set for Nov. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre. Tickets are $7 for LU/LIT students, $10 for faculty, staff, senior citizens and students, and $15 general admission.

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Story by Cassandra Jenkins, UP editor

Category: News