The musical collaboration didn’t end with the choreography—it will be present on stage. “We’re very excited by the number of live musicians who will be part of the performance,” said Sharon Butcher, HSU Assistant Professor and artistic director for this event. They include a student jazz quartet for her own piece, “2nd Impression,” and drummers from the Arcata community creating Congolese rhythms for “Bokila-Elanga (Hunting-Harvesting),” choreographed by Deborah Ketelsen.
But the collaboration went beyond dance and music. It even included a mathematician. “Lela Annotto-Pemberton’s ‘Permutations’ was created as a result of an interdisciplinary seminar, with Kyle Falbo, a student math major. The dance uses math equations and concepts to make decisions about how to space and move the dancers. ”
“Permutations” was selected to represent HSU at this year’s American College Dance Festival Conference in Salt Lake City, where it received high praise from internationally renowned dance professionals serving as the conference adjudicators.
Butcher’s interdisciplinary seminar encouraging collaboration led to two more dances in the show choreographed by students: the 1960s spoof “Gosh It’s Fun: How to be Fruggin’ Groovy!” by Tara Lihn, and “Body Speaks” by Erin Reed and Sarah Cory.
“Body Speaks” involved several kinds of collaboration. “Erin Reed and Sarah Cory, worked with a photographer, Courtney Brown, to create a dance theatre piece.” Butcher said. “They have a multi-generational cast—the youngest is around eight and the oldest is 70 or so. There’s a spoken text written by the performers as well as the choreographers, about their own body images. And not only does Sarah Cory perform, but so does her mother and her niece.” The music was composed by Jacqueline Dandenau, a well-known music and theatre artist from the Arcata community. “It’s such a lovely piece,” Butcher said, “so mature and tender and funny.”