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'Danceworks 2008' Set for April 24-26 at UW-Eau Claire's Kjer Theatre

RELEASED: April 18, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Concert Dance Company will present its annual spring concert, "Danceworks 2008," at 7:30 p.m. April 24-26 in Kjer Theatre on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

Under the direction of Toni-Poll-Sorensen, professor of dance in the department of music and theatre arts, the Concert Dance Company will present 11 works featuring the traditions of ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance.

The first half of the concert will open with "Self Evident," a modern dance piece. The piece is set to the song of the same title by Ani DiFranco, "Session" by Linkin Park and "Barber Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber. The dance has references to Sept. 11, the political division within the country, and the feeling of being trapped in the decisions others make for us. The dance was choreographed by junior Chelsey Dahm, Middleton, and will feature 12 dancers.

"Effection" will follow, set to the music of "Blame on Me" by Toots and the Maytals. The piece was choreographed by senior Brent Bergstrom, Green Bay, and junior Lani Lutz, Prior Lake, Minn. They will join five other dancers in performing the piece.

"Shocking Vibes," a tap piece, will follow. The dance is set to the music of "Hmmm Hmmm" by Beenie Man and was choreographed by junior Laurie Weinert, Whitelaw. "Shocking Vibes" has both a reggae and hip-hop feel with heavy and rhythmic tapping. Weinert will join 10 other dancers in performing the piece.

"Fast Brass," set to the music "Fanfare Ciocarlia," will be next, with choreography by guest choreographer Janice Garrett. It will feature five dancers. Garrett's company appeared in the Artist's Series in February, and this piece was performed in the concert program.

"Red Light," set to the popular song by Jonny Lang, was choreographed by Lutz and senior Kari Sederstrom, Rosemount, Minn. The modern and lyrical dance is meant to convey the mood of coming home and relaxing after a long day of work. There are 11 dancers and an understudy for the piece.

Closing out the first half of the concert will be "Same Difference" and "Is It?" "Same Difference" will be set to "Murderers" by John Frusciante and was choreographed by senior Tarrah Irussi, Brookfield. The mixed ballet, hip-hop and tap piece shows how any type of dance can be done to any type of song. The piece will feature 20 dancers. "Is It?" is set to "Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks, was choreographed by Bergstrom and will feature eight dancers.

The second half will open with "Falling Into Memories." It will open with spoken word by Ryan Kopperud and end with "Breathing Light" by Nitin Sawhney. The piece will feature five dancers and six walkers. Sederstrom, who choreographed the piece, said she wanted to dedicate the piece to those lost but not forgotten.

"I wanted it to have meaning and be personal to the audience," Sederstrom said. "At some point in life, everyone is going to lose someone they love and care deeply about. It's about coping and mourning those losses, and how they may no longer be here, but they will always be with us in memories," she said.

"Falling Into Memories" was featured at the American College Dance Festival Association in Kalamazoo, Mich., in March.

Next will be "T.I. and the Shakers," set to "Tambourine" by Eve. This lighthearted hip-hop piece is about enjoying yourself and having a good time. "T.I and the Shakers" was choreographed by Tarrah Irussi and will feature nine dancers.

"Yours, Mine, and Ours: A Story of Alienation and Community" was choreographed by Poll-Sorensen. The piece will be set to "Music for 18 Musicians, Sections 10 and 11" by Steve Reich and will feature five dancers listening to a song of their own choice on their iPods while the audience is hearing the choreographer's musical selection.

The final selection will be "Juliet's Lament" set to "The Zepp Overture" and "Hello Zepp" by Charlie Clouser. It is a seven-minute contemporary ballet based on William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" and chronicles Juliet's last moments from her discovery that Romeo is dead to her own demise. Dahm choreographed the piece, which features eight dancers, and said that it is both literal and abstract.

"It attempts to portray all the thoughts and emotions that went through Juliet's mind, including a pas de deux with the memory of Romeo," he said.

Tickets, available at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727, are $10 for the general public, $8 for UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff, $6 for those 62 and older and 17 and younger, and $5 for students with a university ID.

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KJ/NW

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