Dance showcase stretches minds and bodies

York University’s young dance artists take to the stage Nov. 24-26 in York Dances! Offering 12 original works, this annual showcase is co-directed by award-winning choreographer and York dance Professor Carol Anderson and Charmaine Headley, a graduate student in the Dance Program.

York Dances! features the talents of up-and-coming choreographers and dancers in their third year of study in the Department of Dance. Through their expressive movements, they stretch the mind as well as the body – pursing journeys of self-discovery, and following others through awakenings and transformations. Open-ended, open-minded, conversational and engaging, the dance vignettes are shaped around solos, pairs and ensemble performers.

The program includes:

Robyn Alfonso’s Waiting for Dawn, a trio set to Strangeness of Heart by Canadian composer Harry Somers. Rooted in the idea of hope and faith, this work explores the tension between feelings of wanting to hide, yet needing to be heard.

Heather Ball’s untitled solo piece follows a woman’s tumultuous path of self-discovery. Pushed and jostled between opposing forces, she finally finds her uncensored, natural state, existing fully as a human being and a woman.

Concealed Mysteries of a Beautiful Mind by Laura Day is a journey into the true thoughts and feelings concealed within the mind of a girl. Employing three dancers and a cage, the work concludes with the question, “Do we ever really know the true mysteries concealed by the cage of the mind?”

Jennifer Ellis’ strong and sensual duet, inexternal, addresses the question “Where do I end and where do you begin?” Set to the electronic music of Brian Eno and Amon Tobin, the dancers go on a fierce journey of discovery through the shapes and spaces created by moving bodies.

Wounded May by Nicole Griffin follows three dancers as they explore the joys and heartache of love in its many forms. Driven by personal experience and inspired by Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Griffen blends contemporary dance and text in a piece grounded in tenderness and compassion.

In Engaging Energies, Nicole King explores the ongoing relationships among living entities on the earth. Through four dancers, the work makes connections between the core of the world and the core of the body, using gravity as a propelling force. Thematically, the dance references the Native American culture of sustainability and the choreographer’s passionate connection with the natural environment.

Noghte is a solo dance created by Shirin Yousefi. Noghte, the Farsi word for a dot, refers to the singular and infinite nature of the self through which we experience love. The piece explores how we define our love for one another and where we find it within ourselves throughout our lives.

The works will be presented in two separate series running in repertory:

  • Series A: Thursday, Nov. 24, 6pm; Friday, Nov. 25, 8pm; Saturday, Nov. 26, 6pm
  • Series B: Thursday, Nov. 24, 8pm; Friday, Nov. 25, 6pm; Saturday, Nov. 26, 8pm

Performances take place in the Burton Auditorium on York’s Keele campus. Admission is $10 at the door. For more information, call ext. 58030.