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March 31, 2000

Modern Dance Theatre Concert

By: Jolene Bracy

Like an array of glittering gemstones on black velvet, individual performances will highlight the Spring 2000 Dance Theatre Concert at UW-River Falls April 12-15. The facets of ability, grace, strength and talent are combined with choreography, costumes, music and lighting to create a unique vision expressed through dance. Each choreographer and performer has their own form of self-expression, using modern dance to demonstrate their thoughts, feelings and ability.

The main object of Dance Theatre is, "not just to dance, but to create," according to Karla Zhe, director of the Modern Dance Theatre. Each of the jewels polished for this concert offer separate, distinct expressions of diversity through dance. Dances range from the Roaring Twenties "The Women's Low Down" and "The Collegiate" choreographed by Lance Benishek, to the "Korean Fan Dance" choreographed by Brooke Newmaster and Karla Zhe's Afro-Cuban dances, the "Palo" and the "Ga'Ga'." Other dances are choreographed based on Salsa, Middle East, Rock rhythms and Poetry.

Choreographers include UW-RF faculty members Karla Zhe, Jocelyn Gorham and Torrion Amie. Guest choreographers are Lance Benishek, Brooke Newmaster, and Troy and Starla Dixen. Student choreographers include senior Mary Aguilar of Frederic, senior Kristen Baregi of River Falls, senior Summerly Fretty of Big Lake, Minn., junior Kari Goodman of Reedsburg, senior Kim Johnson of Woodbury, Minn., senior Haley Lasche of White Bear Lake, Minn., senior Liz Martinson of Roseville, Minn., and junior Heather Mullinax of Green Bay.

Modern Dance Theatre promotes dance as a part of life, involving mind, soul and body. While the gems produced for the spring concert are unrelated creations, each performance linked by the golden filigree of producing thought provoking work. Dance Theatre is a student run organization, with more than 40 members. To become a member, students must audition in the fall. About 20 students are enrolled in the Dance minor at UW-RF, which offers a wide variety of activities connecting students, the River Falls community and the Twin Cities area as well.

The Spring 2000 Dance Concert, showcasing 17 dances, will take place at 8 p.m. April 12, 13, 14 and 15 in the Blanche Davis Theatre, in the UW-RF Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students. Tickets are also available by mail to: UW-RF DANCE THEATRE, 124 Karges Center, River Falls, WI 54022. Please make check payable to UW-RF Dance Theatre.

For more information, contact Zhe at 715/425-3131.

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