Arts & Culture

Soar With UK Dance Students 'In Flight'

UK Dance faculty and students talk about program and upcoming production, "In Flight."

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2017) Discover new heights and explore the history and future of concert dance with works from five faculty and guest choreographers brought to life on stage by dance students in the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance. "In Flight" Dance Concert will soar across the Guignol Theatre stage Jan. 27-29.

"Persistent Assembly" (2015) is a work by Artist-in-Residence Jessica Pearson, an assistant professor of dance at Rhode Island College who set the dance work on nine dance minors in five days. "Persistent Assembly" is a movement exploration that continues the choreographer’s investigation of the strength of the individual and the power of the community. The piece also taps into those who feel like other in a world where there is a “normal.”

Through her new work, "Of Time and Memory," Lexington artist Stephanie Harris examines memories and their ability to create a sensory experience that transcends time. Although these moments are ephemeral they activate our senses allowing us to access moments long passed and once forgotten. For her new work, Harris is collaborating with artist Chris Radtke whose sculpture, "Passage/Labyrinth" has been incorporated into its creation. Throughout this dance work, the sculpture serves as a portal, a time capsule as well as a sacred space for remembrance. 

"Split and Sewn" is a work created by choreographer Lucy Escher Kahn in collaboration with her cast. Inspired by the musical "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," specifically the protagonist's search for her other half, "Split and Sewn" explores the concepts of wholeness and completion, as well as feelings of detachment. The six dancers looked to Plato for theories on the origin of love and played the French Surrealist game "Exquisite Corpse" to experience the feelings that accompany being paired with someone who doesn't quite fit.

"FEEDBAG" is a new work created by UK Lecturer of Dance Anthony Alterio. Alterio's aim with "FEEDBAG" is to break through to help you believe in the true performance of yourself as societal norms no longer matter and all of your expectations are thrown away. The work is meant to challenge people to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. "Thrown together is 'FEEDBAG,' but we will not specify what is thrown into said 'FEEDBAG.' We ask you to observe 'FEEDBAG' in the space where it happens, and to let your pride ring through as a balance between masculine and feminine qualities collide," Alterio said. "Quit predicting what is coming next and find a journey for yourself as 'FEEDBAG’s' energetic, thought provoking transcendental exploration provides nourishment for different identities to come together and create a spectacle bigger than you or I."

Assistant Professor of Dance Susie Thiel creates a new work on eight dance minors. The dance explores the relationship between the dancers and the music in a mixture of double duets, solos and at times three separate movement phrases happening simultaneously. Thiel is interested in how the movement material coincides to create an aesthetically pleasing dance work.

There will be two post-performance discussions immediately following the Saturday and Sunday performances. Moderated by the choreographers and featuring the cast, crew and artistic team members. This is an opportunity for audience members to talk about the production, exploring topics that range from the rehearsal process to the creative decisions behind the production or issues raised by the work.

This year's dance concert will take flight 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29. Tickets for "In Flight" are $15 for the general public and are $10 for UK students with a valid ID through the Singletary Center box office. Processing fees will be added to ticket purchase. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at 859-257-4929, visit online at or purchase in person during operating hours.

The UK Department of Theatre and Dance at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from the renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.

photo of dancers performing from UK Dance Program
photo of poster for "In Flight"

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue