Acclaimed dancer Alberto del Saz, artistic director of the Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance Company as well as co-director of The Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance, will teach an open master class in modern dance technique at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, in the Annelise Mertz Dance Studio.
Alberto del Saz, world-renown dancer and co-director of the acclaimed Nikolais/Louis Foundation for Dance, will be on campus from Sunday, Oct. 7, through Oct. 13 to teach an open master class, perform as a visiting artist, lead student workshops and set choreography for a student performance of “Tensile Involvement.”
Del Saz will be on campus from Sunday, Oct. 7, through Oct. 13 as a visiting artist in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences’ dance program. In addition to the master class, he will lead student workshops in modern dance technique, choreography and improvisation and set choreography for “Tensile Involvement” by the innovative multimedia choreographer Alwin Nikolais (1910-93). One of Nikolais’ signature works, “Tensile Involvement” consists of 10 dancers moving through and manipulating a large grid of elastic bands. (Robert Altman’s 2003 film “The Company” featured a version by the Joffrey Ballet.)
Students will perform “Tensile Involvement” Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 as part of rEvolutions, the 2007 Dance Theatre concert. In addition, Utah’s acclaimed Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company will include the piece as part of its “Nikolais Dance Theatre,” an evening-length concert of Nikolais’ choreography Nov. 2-3 as part of Edison Theatre’s OVATIONS! Series.
“This will be the first time that a student dance cast will be able to see live a work they are learning for Dance Theatre before they perform it,” said Mary-Jean Cowell, Ph.D., associate professor of dance in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences and director of the dance program. “This will be exciting for the dancers and a bonus for St. Louis dance audiences. The dance is an intriguing one that typically prompts a reaction of wanting to see it again.”
Del Saz, a member of Murray Louis and Nikolais Dance Company for more than 20 years, has staged the Nikolais/Louis repertory for university and professional dance companies around the world.
A former Spanish National Champion in figure skating, del Saz received his early dance training at the Nikolais-Louis Dance Lab in New York, working directly with both Nikolais and Murray Louis. He made his debut as a lead soloist in 1985 and toured internationally with the company, appearing at the Kennedy Center and other major venues as well as on the PBS American Masters Series and other national broadcasts.
Del Saz has been featured as a guest solo artist in works by Hanya Holm, Claudia Gitelman, Maureen Fleming, Sara Pearson, Cleo Parker Robinson and other leading choreographers. In 1997 he danced Rudolph Nureyev’s role in Louis’ “Moments.” He is currently choreographing for bronze medalist figure skater Nicole Bobek and Olympic bronze medalist and World Professional Champion Phillipe Candeloro.
The class is $10 for the public and free for members of the Missouri Dance Organization and Washington University students, faculty and staff. The Annelise Mertz Dance Studio is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, call 935-5858.