The University Dance Company will perform their fall concert in a variety of dance styles including contemporary, flamenco and hip-hop on Nov. 17 and 18 at the Lied Center.
The UDC has been at the University since the early 1900s, when it was solely a student organization. Now the company is a part of the dance department's curriculum.
“The UDC started out as a club and remains as a student organization, but it is also a course for majors,” said Michelle Heffner Hayes, professor and chair of the Department of Dance, said. “It is a huge commitment for the students involved and they give up their free time everyday to get to work with choreographers and get the experience of being in a professional dance company.”
Every year, the UDC has guest artists come in and choreograph dance numbers for its fall and spring concerts.
The two guest choreographers for this semester's concert are Jennifer Weber, founder of the Brooklyn-based hip-hop company Decadedancetheatre, and Ellie Goudie-Averill, an alumna and new faculty member.
Weber’s piece, "4," is to a rendition of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The entire work is a mixture of classical dance and hip-hop.
Goudie-Averill’s piece is a contemporary piece set to live music by the University's percussion ensemble.
“I am always happy when we have a successful alum come back and give back to the company that made them,” Hayes said. “Goudie-Averill worked for many years in New York and Philadelphia and she came back to just give back.”
Ana Glocker, a junior and president of UDC, has been involved with the group since her freshman year and this fall’s concert is her fifth.
“The most rewarding part of being in UDC is the relationships you cultivate with the faculty and other dancers,” Glocker said. “We truly are like a little family. The care and support that I feel and see everyday, every rehearsal, makes me so proud to be part of this student organization.”
Along with the two works previously mentioned, the other works in the concert include “Ballet sans nom” by dance professor Jerel Hilding, “FLIGHT/SAFE HARBOR” by professors Muriel Cohan and Patrick Suzeau. Hayes' new work “Lo que queda/That which remains...” mixes Flamenco and Latin popular dance and dance instructor Willie Lenoir, “It Ain’t Angst” which is a jazz-infused, contemporary work.
Hayes said students should attend the concert because of its high-quality dance.
“Students should come and see the fall concert because of the live music and the range from ballet to hip-hop to flamenco to contemporary," Hayes said. "It all is just dance that is really beautiful and the concert will be a full evening full of high-level dance."
—Edited by Chandler Boese