FSU School of Dance presents ‘Days of Dance’ concert series

Cast of Sami Frost’s "I am. We are." (Photo by Meagan Helman)
Cast of Sami Frost’s "I am. We are." (Photo by Meagan Helman)

Florida State University’s School of Dance will return from a two-year hiatus to showcase the talent of its faculty and students in its annual Days of Dance concert series April 15-16 and April 22-23.

Under the direction of Assistant Professor Caleb Mitchell, Days of Dance features a broad scope of dance genres, with choreography set by faculty members and students.

Some performances include:

  • “Light in Blue on Black,” performed by 18 Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) students to musical selections by composer Jane Antonia Cornish
  • “I am. We are,” which explores relationships and sharing space while maintaining a personal identity within a community
  • “On My Way,” in which dancers ultimately find their authentic selves
  • “Tribute to the Tarpon Club,” which pays homage to the Tarpon Club, FSU’s synchronized swimming team that started in 1937
  • “free market,” which explores the struggle of finding humanity in a modern world
  • “Kinder,” a restaging of an original piece that explores the behaviors and attitudes of young children and how that can manifest in movement and performance qualities

“It is so exciting to resume Days of Dance after two years away,” said Anjali Austin, chair of the School of Dance. “I am always inspired by the diversity of student choreography and look forward to seeing the offerings of the faculty.”

Tim Glenn, choreographer, designer and professor of contemporary dance and dance technology, will premiere “Light in Blue on Black” from a live-feed camera projected onto two surfaces inside the proscenium. This multimedia work of integrated technologies includes props and costumes designed and constructed by Glenn.

Students performing at the annual Days of Dance concert.
Students performing at the annual Days of Dance concert. (Photo by Megan Helman)

“Carrying on the Nikolais legacy of total theater design, this production offers an illusionary experience in which no hallucinogenic drugs are necessary,” Glenn said, referring to the late dancer and choreographer Alwin Nikolais.

Sami Frost, a senior student choreographer, will present “I am. We are.”

“I was inspired to create a piece due to experiencing so much time apart from other people,” Frost said. “This work begins to explore what it means to create a personal reflection and embodiment of your own physical body.”

Ilana Goldman, professor and faculty choreographer, and Rachel S. Hunter, adjunct faculty and production manager, also will present their works.

“In ‘On My Way,’ dancers will try on different identities/ways of being, attempt to conform/assimilate, and finally find their authentic selves,” Goldman said.

Hunter’s “Tribute to the Tarpon Club” is inspired by “the movements and requirements in synchronized swimming,” she said. “The choreographic work utilizes synchronized swimming moves and terms such as sculling, patterns, lifts, deck work, etc.”

Set to Bedřich Smetana’s “Dance of the Comedians,” the four-minute work plays with humor, precision, buoyancy and “even a bird’s eye view for the audience to enjoy,” Hunter said.

The Tarpon Club used the Montgomery Gym pool for performances. It was renovated in 2004 and now houses a black box theatre and dance studio for the FSU School of Dance.

The original Tarpon Club disbanded in 1994 after having become, at 57 years, the nation’s oldest continuously active collegiate swim group and the oldest FSU campus club.

Cameron Kay, a junior dance major, said her “free market” explores “the complexities of the relationships between existing in a capitalistic society for the sake of sacrificing culture, freedom and identity.”

Mariah Preedin, a BFA student, will present “Kinder,” which she choreographed in 2019 at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida. Kinder is the German word for “children.” She got her inspiration for the piece from watching her younger brother and his friends interact and play with each other.

Days of Dance runs as two separate full-length programs.

Program A will be performed at 7:30 p.m., April 15 and April 23 and at 2 p.m., April 16. Program B will take place at 7:30 p.m., April 16 and April 22 and at 2 p.m., April 23. All performances will take place in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall on the FSU campus.

Tickets for Days of Dance performances are $15 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and non-FSU students with ID, $10 for children and $5 for FSU students with ID. All seating is general admission.

For ticket information, contact the Fine Arts Tickets Office at (850) 644-6500 or visit www.tickets.dance.fsu.edu. Tickets may also be purchased directly before each performance at Montgomery Hall.

The box office closes 15 minutes after the start of each performance. For more information, email ldavis3@fsu.edu or visit dance.fsu.edu.