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Live Concerts

University Dancers

Event Date: 
Friday, December 6, 2013 - 8:00pm
Saturday, December 7, 2013 - 8:00pm

Choreographer Sidra Bell opens a door to a world of shifting psychology in her piece at the bazaar which premieres at the University Dancers’ concerts at Bowker Auditorium. Bell, choreographic artist in residence, uses 12 dancers' bodies as intricate and detailed paintbrushes. Each dancer is called on to research and play with abstract movement phrases and specific images, such as wonder, play, risk, awareness, urban grit and infant development. The work is set to music by Dennis Bell, a composer, arranger and producer whose dance scores have been performed by Ailey II and at The Yard in Martha’s Vineyard, The Arts Umbrella in Vancouver, Yale University, the Juilliard and Perry Mansfield Schools. Sidra Bell’s critically acclaimed company, Sidra Bell Dance New York, presents innovative, kinetic and provocative dance theater works that have been seen in the U. S., Europe, China, Korea and South America. The New York Times said that Bell has an almost garish imagination capable of dreaming up surreal scenarios... a slick, in-your-face intensity dominates her onstage worlds.

at the bazaar is one of four dances on the annual University Dancers’ show. In Judgments, choreographed by UMass Professor of Dance Billbob Brown, dancers perform on five very large boxes dressed in graduation robes, while another 20 boxes, colorful and painted with cartoon figures, adorn the stage. A ten foot Judge will preside. The work is a call for peace and understanding, while dealing with prejudice, racism, homophobia and misogyny.

Before/After, choreographed by Ballet Austin’s Jennifer Hart, is set to Fratres, music for violin, strings percussion by Arvo Pärt. This contemporary work is a luscious, moving and delicate ballet for eight dancers, one of whom is on pointe. The choreography interprets the waves and flow of the music with precision and abundance of breath. Also on the program is a work by the newest member of the UMass Dance faculty, Erica Wilson-Perkins.

Directed by UMass Professor of Dance Paul Dennis, the annual University Dancers’ (UD) concert includes choreography by nationally- and internationally-recognized artists, emerging artists, and UMass and Five College faculty members. Past choreographers have included Merce Cunningham, Mark Morris, Chuck Davis, Adrienne Hawkins, Anna Sokolow, Doug Varone, Randy James and George Balanchine. Dance majors audition for UD, the only college touring company in New England that offers ballet, modern and jazz dance performances, workshops and talks to schools, and community and retirement centers.

Tickets--$5 students, children, seniors; and $14 general public—are available at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, 413 545 2511 or at