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Updated 5:30 PM February 1, 2008
 

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Hip-hop, traditional dance meet up in 'Stravinsky Revisited'
Watch hip-hop choreographer Rennie Harris teach U-M students >

No other composer has inspired as many choreographers and dancers as Igor Stravinsky, whose stylistic diversity and harmonic complexity reflect the modernists' pursuit of new, engaging forms of expression. His music has been a part of more than 1,200 dances created by more than 680 composers around the world.
Sam Stone and Stephanie Overton perform "Swimming the English Channel," choreographed by assistant professor of dance Amy Chavasse. (Photo By Peter Smith Photography)

The University Dance Company presents five new works Jan. 31-Feb. 3 that explore the poignant connection between the music of Stravinsky and modern dance. The original pieces are featured in "Stravinsky Revisited," a dynamic, eclectic performance of dance styles, from brief movements to hip-hop.

Guest artists include Rennie Harris, Daniel Gwirtzman and Ginger Thatcher. Dance department faculty members Amy Chavasse and Jessica Fogel also have contributed new works.

Harris' work "Heaven" blends hip-hop techniques with the allegorical references to a Japanese folk tale. His work "Rome & Jewels," a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, received the Bessie Award for Choreography in 2001.

Gwirtzman, a 1992 graduate, has woven together seven brief movements inspired by four Stravinsky compositions. He is founder of the New York City-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, and has created dances for the North Carolina Dance Theatre and Fordham University/The Ailey School.

Thatcher has worked in numerous Broadway productions, and has danced with the Houston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet and the Cleveland Ballet before joining the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1991. Her contribution in "Stravinsky Revisited" is a meditation on light and shadows amid a Matisse-like set design.

Fogel's new work, meanwhile, blends musical fragments of Stravinsky in a surrealistic dance amid the imagined architecture of a house. Chavasse offers a depiction of historical events that coincide with the years in which Stravinsky created the pieces.

As part of a lecture series on Stravinsky and modern dance, artistic director Fogel and Angela Kane, chair, Department of Dance, will discuss the dances in "Stravinsky Revisited" at 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at the International Institute, 1080 S. University Ave., Room 1636.

For information call 763-5460.

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