Through frigid temperatures, DanceTech, held in and around the CASP 5&J Gallery in downtown Lubbock, was a wonderful success. Our design/production team did an incredible job--the costumes, lighting and sound all supported and enhanced the experience for the audience.
Our students were extraordinary...
The integrity of the artistic choices made by choreographers, designers, performers and crew--lighting sources from car headlights; transitional sounds generated partially from the environment; plastic bags worn as costumes--were derived from the area. The neighborhood, buildings, streets, and found objects became collaborators in the process and provided a backdrop of information that fed and contextualized each piece in dynamic and visually stunning ways. Our students were extraordinary in braving the elements and, wholeheartedly, embracing the experience.
"Our student performers completely bought-in to the unconventional locations, cold weather, and unpredictable interactions with the audience," says Kyla Olson, artistic director of DanceTech. "They learned much from seeing dance in new, found spaces and incorporating elements of the landscape into the choreography. It felt contemporary and exciting. One of our performances took place during Lubbock's popular First Friday Art Trail and, while it felt hectic, it was rewarding to see such large crowds of our city's population that may not usually see our productions stopping to watch the moving production. This was a wonderful learning opportunity for our students, and an exciting production for our community to experience."
Chris Taylor, Director of Land Arts of the American West at the School of Architecture and respondent to this year's DanceTech, was particularly moved by the elemental tactility in the performances and their activation of the places where they occurred: "From gravel, dust and wind to truck headlights, extended shadow projections, a mysteriously orange dead blow mallet, the tangible legibility brought focus to dance and staging in powerful ways. Reflection of sound, light and movement also resonated, culminating in a moving sonic patina that borrowed wonderfully from the active train lines and streets. Textures of vivid saturation and the merits of the pedagogy of weather all left lasting impressions."
American College Dance Association (ACDA) Conference March 7-11, 2019
Twenty of our students and three faculty members attended the ACDA conference at Texas A&M last week and had inspiring experiences. They presented three works at the festival; one piece by guest choreographer Keith Johnson (Professor of Dance at California State University Long Beach and a prolific choreographer) and two pieces by senior students Juliet Wallace and Hannah Haeussler.
"ACDA was amazing," says Wallace. "Students participated in masterclasses with Koresh Dance Company, Andy Noble and Noblemotiondance; and learned techniques not traditionally offered in our program such as contemporary flamenco, hip-hop, and others. I am grateful for the School of Theatre and Dance for these opportunities to showcase choreography and learn about the interconnectedness in the world of dance."
Hannah Haeussler thought the performance of her work went well: "After the performance, we received feedback from adjudicators Christopher Morgan, Courtney Harris, and Robert Mose. They suggested ways to further moments that worked to enhance the overall aesthetic of the piece. Overall, they said that I could work to expand this work as a whole and dive deeper into the subject matter. This was my last ACDA conference as an undergraduate student, and I will cherish the friends I have made over the years attending ACDA."
ACDA provides our students with opportunities to connect with other dance practitioners, and to be inspired, moved, and motivated by the work of other dance students and professionals in the region.
All of these experiences are crucial in the preparation of our students for a future in the profession of dance.