‘Dance Innovations: Frost Moon Dances’ rises Thursday night

Dancer Rylee Booroff

As autumn afternoons segue into nippy winter nights, the Department of Dance celebrates the turn of the season with “Dance Innovations: Frost Moon Dances”, running Nov. 22 to 24. York’s rising young dance artists are featured in this choreographic showcase, with two different programs lighting up the stage nightly at 7pm and 8:30pm in the McLean Performance Studio, 244 Accolade East Building.

Dancer Rylee BooroffThe production is co-directed by acclaimed independent dance artists and faculty members Carol Anderson and Terrill Maguire, with lighting design supervision and production management by Dance Professor William Mackwood.

Dancer Rylee Booroff. Photograph by Andréa de Keijzer, 2011 

“The overall theme for Dance Innovations this year is ritual. We are surrounded by rituals large and small, societal and personal, and dance seems the perfect ground for investigating touchstones we return to as rites of passage, as daily markers, as ways of understanding time and changes,” said Anderson. “’Frost Moon Dances’ acknowledges the transition from late fall to early winter, a time of completion in students’ busy lives, and also a fallow time of regeneration, in the calendar and in the cycle of seasons.”

In the first program, a tidal wave of 28 dancers performs the dazzling Sea Swirl, a work Maguire created for the third-year repertory class. It’s set to Flugufrelsarinn, a song composed by the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós, as performed by the Kronos Quartet.

Twelve works choreographed by fourth-year students round out the early show.

Paige Cardinal’s Hunting to Extinction for six dancers looks at rituals in a wolf pack. Attraversiamo, a quartetby Andrea Valdez Levin, investigates the ritual of journeys. Nikolaos Markakis’ Diafthora explores an enchanted world, while Marijean Nicholson’s duet Divertimento investigates hellos and goodbyes. In her duet premena [metamorphosis], Kristen Pepper examines the idea of self-discovery and development.

Beginning of the End, choreographed by Alyssa Perry, follows the journey of four dancers as they relive past experiences and surrender to whatever comes next. Kristen Ratzki evokes time and chaos in her sextet, Arguments for Eternity. Emily Sherwood created for Helen as a tribute to her childhood dance teacher. Yui Ugai was inspired by the band Dead Can Dance to create her duet Lit by the Blue Moon. Denise Solleza’s half a dozen dreams is a choreographic exploration of recurring dreams.

Tempus Fugit (Time Flies), created by Aislin Wade, is a quartet about the universal stages of life experienced by every human being. Another quartet, Cassandra Wiesner’s Depending on the Puzzle,focuses on the movement made by domestic appliances.

The York Dance Ensemble, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, steps into the spotlight in the second program of Dance Innovations. The YDE is featured in two works: Fabulous Stupid, an “outrageous” quartet choreographed by the Ensemble’s artistic director, Professor Holly Small, and set to original music composed by Fine Arts alumnus John Oswald (BFA ’77), and the haunting, dream-like Time is of the Essence, a piece for nine dancers by graduate student Catherine Murray, set to West Orange/Samsara by Helios.

Admission to each program of “Dance Innovations: Frost Moon Dances” is $25 and $12.50 for students and seniors. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Fine Arts Box Office website or call 416-736-5888.