Open to the Public Donations Welcomed
UI Dance Company, the resident repertory and touring company of the Department of Dance, presents a concert of works by dance faculty and students. Under the direction of Melinda Jean Myers, featuring a company of 10 undergraduate dancers, this season delivers diverse and exciting performances that discuss systems of power, activism against oppressive systems and threats to our future, and the community & human connection found while navigating these spaces.
The Legend of the Pitch Lake Myth Performance
By Grant Wood Fellow Kieron Sargeant
This work is centered around one of the legendary myths of the Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago. After winning a battle, the Chimas celebrated by creating a great feast of hummingbirds, and the tribe used the feathers to decorate themselves, forgetting that hummingbirds were the spirits of their ancestors. In punishment, the winged God’s opened up the earth and summoned the Pitch Lake to swallow the village.
The Pitch Lake is found in southwest Trinidad in the village of La Brea. The lake produces hot asphalt, measures approximately one hundred acres (41 hectares), and is estimated to be two hundred and fifty feet (76 meters) deep in the center.
This work was created as way to foster diversity and inclusion by having students learn about Trinidad and Tobago and its historical narratives through physical embodiment.
Right Here Performance
Melinda Jean Myers in collaboration with the dancers created the performance of “Right Here”. When the company began the process of making Right Here, the objective was to research action toward climate change through connecting with community efforts, learning from experts, and responding together. This led the company to share their work in Prompt for the Planet at the Englert Theatre, and at Climate Fest on the Chauncey Lawn last fall.
After these initial performances, the work evolved toward how the dancers were experiencing this particular time on the planet, in relationship to the climate crisis, but also to social systems, identity and belonging.
The work shows themes of power, greed, obliviousness, striving, grinding, and collapsing. It also shares an aim toward hope, connection, and collective action.
Maddison Bulman, Cearra Crosser, Ellie Daley, Jacqueline Fuentes, Amya Lopez, Kendra McDaniel, Morgan Powers, Katie Scuderi, Lexi Timmerman, Maya Villanue
Post-show Question and Answer with Melinda Jean Myers and Todd Rhoades (assistant director).