PAD to present Dance CloseUp Sept. 6-8

Biennial faculty concert marks unofficial launch of professional dance season

David Marchant and Holly Marchant perform their duet For Presentimental Reasons as part of Dance CloseUp Sept. 6-8. Download hi-res version.

Modern dance solos and duets will share the stage with hip hop, ballet, flamenco, West African and Indian classical dance when Washington University presents Dance CloseUp Sept. 6-8.The intimate, informal concert — which has helped launch St. Louis’ fall performing arts season since 1995 — showcases new and original works by dance faculty in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences.

Dance CloseUp is a unique event on the St. Louis dance calendar,” says artistic director Mary-Jean Cowell, PhD, associate professor and coordinator of the Dance Program. “This year’s concert is distinguished by a larger-than-usual number of participants, including some recent additions to the faculty.”

Another special feature will be the program’s final work, a large-scale collaboration featuring most of the evening’s performers.

“Tentatively entitled Hot Seat, the dance deliberately echoes some theatrical practices associated with post-modern dance,” Cowell says. These include “structured improvisation and optional (verbal) participation by audience members.”

Mariko Kumanomido. Download hi-res version.


Performances begin at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 6 and 7; and at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. Performances take place in the Annelise Mertz Dance Studio, located in Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.

Tickets are $17 for the general public and $12 for students, children, senior citizens and WUSTL faculty and staff. Floor-mat seating — in keeping with the event’s intimate, informal atmosphere — is available for $6. Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets.

For more information, call the Box Office at (314) 935-6543.


In addition to Hot Seat, the program will feature 11 new works:

Behold and Beheld: Cecil Slaughter, senior lecturer in dance, and Mary Ann Reis, adjunct instructor, choreograph and perform a pair of related duets. The latter is set to Jane Siberry’s The Valley. The former is set to k.d. lang’s cover of the same song.

For Presentimental Reasons: The husband-and-wife team of David and Holly Marchant present a spontaneous composition exploring “the realm of intuition.” David is professor of the practice in dance; Holly is the PAD’s Marcus Lecturer in Residence.

Cadence: Adjunct instructor Beth Steinbrenner performs a Flamenco dance, accompanied by the PAD’s Henry Claude on Afro-Cuban drums.

Billy Jean: Adjunct instructor Ashley L. Tate presents this playful solo, set to Jamie Cullum’s acoustic remix of Rihanna’s Don’t Stop the Music.

Wild is the Wind: Adjunct instructor Mariko Kumanomido performs this short solo about a woman in love, set to music by Cat Power.

(A Dance to the) Mislaid: Cowell choreographs and performs a solo work inspired by the dance cartoons of Jules Feiffer.

Celestial Witness: Christine Knoblauch-O’Neal, professor of the practice in dance and director of the PAD’s Ballet Program, performs this solo work by guest choreographer Jennifer Medina.

Lessons From Oscar: Adjunct instructor Wendy Ballard choreographs and performs an homage to jazz great Oscar Peterson.

Mask Ritual & Initiation: Adjunct instructor Diadie Bathily presents this contemporary take on a traditional mask dance from Africa’s Ivory Coast.

Madhuram (The Sweetness of Krishna): Adjunct instructor Asha Prem choreographs and performs this contemporary take on Indian classical dance.

Afriky Lolo, the company led by adjunct instructor Diadié Bathily, adapts the traditional West African folktale of Sundiata.