Featuring new dance works by faculty and a guest artist with student performers, “Danstage 2023” will conclude the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Department of Theatre and Dance season with performances May 5-7.
“Danstage 2023” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 5-6, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, in Jenkins Theatre. It will include new choreography by guest artist and international performer Heather Cornell, as well as dance faculty members Michael Estanich, Jeannie Hill and Sarah Olson.
Tickets are $27 for adults, $24 for seniors, faculty and staff members and $16 for youth. Purchase tickets online at tickets.uwsp.edu, by calling 715-346-4100 or by visiting the Information and Tickets Office in Dreyfus University Center in Stevens Point. Tickets may also be available at the venue starting one hour prior to each performance.
Cornell will premiere “Three Takes on Monk,” a work that features live music by the UWSP Jazz Ensemble directed by Music Professor Mathew Buchman. Performed to three Thelonious Monk tunes, “Misterioso,” “In Walked Bud” and “Well, You Needn’t,” the piece creates additional music with tap dancers.
Cornell will also premiere a work set to Matt Dariau’s arrangement of “African Folk Song,” which was created while she was in residency at UW-Stevens Point. This celebratory dance allows the performers to connect as a community and communicate with intricate rhythmic discourse.
Professor Jeannie Hill’s new work, “Swing Suite,” also features the Jazz Ensemble and invites the dancers to embody the joyful movement of classic swing dancing. With a full big band on stage, the environment provides an opportunity for the dancers to shine with individuality.
Assistant Professor Sarah Olson will feature two new works. “We’ll See,” an athletic ensemble work for 12 dancers set to a compelling score by Woodkid, explores the complexity of empowerment, connection, identity and solidarity. “Looking Backward/Moving Forward,” a tender duet set to a delicate yet driving score by Philip Glass, examines a past relationship through a contemplative lens.
Professor Michael Estanich will premiere “A Glimpse Through the Walls Where We Might Find God.” This work for 16 is a mediation on the five cosmological variants for the existence of God as presented by the early philosopher Thomas Aquinas. The dance moves through an elegant set design by Assistant Professor of Scenic Design Sarah Ross.
Cornell teaches dance in the New York City Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and at Hope College. She has been an ensemble founder, sought-after solo artist, choreographer, director and producer. She has learned from and performed with giants of the tap dance genre.
Cornell has left an indelible mark on dance stages all over the world. She spent 40 years touring with her company Manhattan Tap (1985–2004), with other rhythm tap companies and solo and group projects. She was commissioned to create the first dance show for the London Jazz Festival in London, England. She was dance director for “Three Penny Opera” at Atalaya Theatre in Spain and choreographed the Broadway play, “The Play What I Wrote.”