Dancers Perform in Fall Showcase

Fall 2013 ARDT performance bound to wow any audience

three female dancers
The Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre’s fall performance takes place this week, October 1–4. Shown here: Dancers perform in the spring 2013 ARDT showcase.

UA’s Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre takes the stage again this week with its fall performance. Pre-professional dance students show off their immense talent in pieces ranging in styles and genres.

Opening with a pas de deux from traditional ballet and closing with an experimental, performance-art style piece, the show includes a wide variety of songs such as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” from the 1940s and “Falling Slowly” from the popular movie and new Broadway musical Once.

“It’s truly one of our most diverse shows,” said Cornelius Carter, director of UA’s Dance Program. “Each work is so unique.”

Carter choreographed a number in this season’s show as a continuation to a segment inspired by Vivian Malone and James T. Hood from the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door.

This fall, Carter’s piece begins with a student’s a cappella rendition of a hymn sung in front of the curtain. The hymn accompanies the dancers, who illustrate the strength and struggle of the African-American female.

Other pieces feature different historical or cultural themes. Assistant Professor Qianping Guo choreographed a piece set to Xian Xinghai’s “Yellow River Piano Concerto” to reflect the lifestyle of the farmer along the Yellow River in China.

A design team of just three students — Xenia Miles, Cassie Kayhoppis, and Christina Johnson — created costumes for the showcase, including the traditional Chinese garb for the men and women dancing in the “Yellow River Piano Concerto” number, the World War II USO-show inspired dresses for the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” piece, and the individual ensembles for every one of the dancers in the final performance piece.

Stacy Alley, assistant professor of musical theatre/dance and choreographer of the two tap numbers in the show, referred to the performance as “a testament to how versatile and talented these students are.”

“They are so on their game,” she said. “Professional and ready to perform.”

ARDT Performances run Tuesday, October 1, through Friday, October 4. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 5:30 p.m. Friday.