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'Hartt Dances' Features Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, and World Premieres
The Hartt School Dance Division will present its fall concert, "Hartt Dances," tonight (Friday, Nov. 16) at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in Millard Auditorium.
University of Hartford students, faculty, and staff with valid ID are entitled to one free ticket to the dance concert. Admission for the general public is $20, with discounts for seniors, students, and groups.
"Hartt Dances" features excerpts from Sylvia, first choreographed by Louis Mérante to music by Léo Delibes in 1876, and staged by Hartford Ballet former principal and Hartt faculty member Debra Collins-Ryder; José Limón's Concerto Grosso, set to music of Antonio Vivaldi and staged by Bessie Award winning former principal dancer of both José Limón and Doug Varone Dance Companies, Hartt faculty member Nina Watt; and new creations by Hartt faculty member and Artistic Director of Full Force Dance Theater Katie Stevinson-Nollet, set to music by Lou Harrison, and Stephen Pier, Hartt Dance Director and Artistic Director of Pier Group Dance, to music by Sergei Prokofiev. Hartt Dances also features live performances by members of Performance 20/20, Hartt’s honors chamber music program.
Pier said of this fall’s offerings, “The works on this concert represent not only major pieces in the Modern Dance and Classical Ballet canon but also offer opportunities and challenges for our dancers. The three women's solos from Balanchine's Who Cares? with music by Gershwin are incredibly entertaining while at the same time being monstrously difficult to dance. Limón's Concerto Grosso is challenging in another way in that it demands a very specific attention to style, musicality and performance. The Vivaldi score for this piece will be played live by Hartt’s own Performance 20/20 ensemble.
"Live music also will be a part of my own new piece, At The Garden Wall, with 'Overture on Hebrew Themes' for string quartet, piano, and clarinet, by Sergei Prokofiev," Pier said. "In this piece we are presented with questions: Does the wall protect us or confine us? Are we on the outside looking in, or on the inside looking out? With Sylvia, choreographed by Debra Collins-Ryder, we have the chance to re-enliven a dance from the mid-19th century about women's autonomy which was way ahead of its time. Katie Stevinson-Nollet is 'in the kitchen,' working up another of her inimitable creations, to music by Lou Harrison. Our dancers now are at a level where we can confidently perform works of this caliber, and we are thrilled to be able to share this kind of dancing with Hartford audiences.”