Spanish choreographer to appear with University Dance Company

The passion of flamenco, the non-chalant precision of Baroque, the elegance of ballet and the storytelling of modern dance are pulled into one program by a series of collaborations between musicians and dancers for the University Dance Company's fall concert.

The concert, at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Lied Center, features guest choreographer Tamara La Garbancito and musicians for three of the six works.

The program begins with "Baroque Sampler," which Joan Stone, director of the Kansas University dance program, choreographed based on notated dances and gestures from early 1700s paintings. Three women and two men perform to Rebel's "Les Characteres de la Dance." The music will be performed by the Spencer Consort, KU's early music ensemble.

Four dancers will perform "Ooka the Wise," a Japanese folk tale choreographed by Muriel Cohan, KU associate professor of dance. The piece is performed to the original percussion score of Jason Slote, who drums with jazz and blues players in Kansas City and is a recording engineer and production supervisor for KANU-FM 91.5.

Willie Lenoir, KU dance lecturer, uses Italian Baroque music for "Suite Manfredini," but the dance is strictly modern. Lenoir calls it a "light romp" for a quartet, who dance through a suite of lyrical sections, choreographed as quartets, solos, trios and duets.

Ten dancers take flight in KU dance instructor Patrick Suzeau's "Ode." Breath phrases collide and converge in this piece, as the dancers rise and fall on the sound waves of a traditional Japanese score for shakuhachi flute.

In "Solea y Sevillanas" guest choreographer La Garbancito collaborates with KU musicology professor Walter Clark, who specializes in the music of Spain and Latin America. With her castanets and heels, La Garbancito adds a rhythmic tattoo to Clark's guitar playing. The two have collaborated since 1994.

The program concludes with "Danse Caprice," a classical ballet for 14 women and three men. Jerel Hilding, KU associate professor of dance, choreographed the piece to Felix Mendels-sohn's energetic and elegant work for piano and orchestra, "Capriccio Brillante." Aristocratic pas de deux are interspersed with solo and ensemble work reflecting the lyrical, heroic and mercurial nature of Mendelssohn's music.

Tickets are $7 general admission and $5 for students, and are available at the Lied Center Box Office, 864-ARTS; Murphy Hall Box Office, 864-3982; and Student Union Activities Box Office, 864-3477.

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