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K-State Dance presents 'Spring Dance Concert '22' with dances by José Limón, K-State faculty, students

Friday, March 25, 2022

Spring Dance Concert

K-State Dance presents its "Spring Dance Concert '22" at 7:30 p.m. April 1 and 2 in McCain Auditorium. This year's concert features "Concerto Grosso," a masterwork of American dance by pioneering choreographer José Limón, along with a short film and six dances by K-State dance faculty and students.



MANHATTAN — On April 1 and 2, K-State Dance will present "Spring Dance Concert '22" at 7:30 p.m. in McCain Auditorium at Kansas State University. This year's event features "Concerto Grosso," a masterwork of American dance by pioneering choreographer José Limón, along with a short film and six dances by K-State dance faculty and students.

"Concerto Grosso"is Limón at his most classical — a three-part tour de force evoking both formal beauty and an energizing optimism choreographed to the contrasting moods of music by Vivaldi arranged by Bach. Ten K-State dancers worked intensively with Kurt Douglas, former principal dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, as well as Kate Digby, K-State associate professor of dance, to learn "Concerto Grosso."

"Our students have risen to the challenge of this extraordinary piece," Digby said. "From the elegance of the opening to the brilliance of the finale, our dancers have embodied a true treasure of American dance. And having the opportunity to work with a guest artist like Kurt Douglas is a rare and remarkable opportunity."

Douglas earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance from Boston Conservatory and a Master of Fine Arts in dance from Hollins University in association with the American Dance Festival, Frankfurt Conservatory and the Forsythe Company. Douglas joined the Limón Dance Company and performed in many of Limón’s most influential works. A recipient of many awards, Douglas has also toured internationally with the Tony Award-winning musical "A Chorus Line." Today, he serves on the faculty at the Boston Conservatory and continues to teach internationally.

In addition to the Limón piece, "Spring Dance Concert '22" includes a short film and five new dance works by K-State dance faculty and students. Before the concert begins, "Press to Skip in 5" by Stephen Loch, instructor of dance, will engage the audience with a mix of dance styles set as a playlist that the audience can select — a dance "jukebox" of sorts.

Julie Pentz, professor of dance, choreographed "Blast from the Past," a tap piece featuring the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble and "Not Fusion," a jazz piece exploring the simplicity of movement. Loch also choreographed "Looking Forward, Holding Back," a contemporary juxtaposition of the excitement and hesitation of emerging from a global pandemic.

Two K-State students choreographed work for Spring Dance: Cully Simpson created "Psalm 59," a contemporary solo exploring finding peace amid chaos, while Hope Wedel created "Ambivalent," a modern dance that explores the pull of opposing feelings and how the actions of others can influence our decisions.

In addition, Digby has created a short film titled "Skin," in collaboration with Neo Shockley, a photography and printmaking major with a dance minor. The piece is a photographic exploration of imagery and themes from Digby's National Endowment for the Arts-sponsored performance-installation work, "Search for Simurgh."

Tickets for "Spring Dance Concert '22" are available online at k-state.edu/mtd/tickets or by calling 785-236-8638.

The following K-State students are dancers in "Spring Dance Concert '22":

Savannah Parks, senior in animal sciences and industry, Auburn; Rylee Boyd, junior in architecture, Berryton; Neo Shockley, senior in fine arts, Eureka.

From Greater Kansas City: Avery Moore, senior in human development and family science, Leawood; Iris Enna, sophomore in business administration, Merriam; Rachel Essenberg, sophomore in open option, Olathe; and Abbey Griffin, freshman in nutrition and health, and pre-nursing, Rachelle Jackson, sophomore in kinesiology and pre-physical therapy, and Danielle Mitchell, senior in elementary education, all from Overland Park.

Lauren Mcdermeit, junior in entrepreneurship and innovation, Iola; Karlena Colon, freshman in theatre, and Kai Smith, junior in fine arts, both from Junction City; Nadia Dupree Fogle, freshman in psychology, and Alyx Glessner, freshman in sociology, both from Manhattan; Taybor Smith, senior in apparel and textiles, Marysville; Zoe Abner, senior in fine arts, Riley; Ann Stegman, sophomore in elementary education and theatre, Topeka; Hope Wedel, fisheries, wildlife, conservation and environmental biology, Valley Center; and Annika Wiebers, sophomore in agricultural communications and journalism, Wamego.

From out of state: Alicia Bohren, junior in animal sciences and industry, Longmont, Colorado; Anna Greene, master's student in architecture, and Audrey Henton, junior in dietetics, both from Kansas City, Missouri; Cully Simpson, sophomore in elementary education, Raymore, Missouri; Madison Hunter, sophomore in business administration, Aurora, Nebraska; Mariah Uden, junior in social work, Kenesaw, Nebraska; Kelby Meisinger, senior in elementary education, Louisville, Nebraska; and Avery Johnson, freshman in biology, Owasso, Oklahoma.


Neil Dunn

News tip

Auburn, Berryton, Eureka, Iola, Junction City, Leawood, Manhattan, Marysville, Merriam, Olathe, Overland Park, Riley, Topeka, Valley Center and Wamego, Kansas; Longmont, Colorado; Kansas City and Raymore, Missouri; Aurora, Kenesaw and Louisville, Nebraska; and Owasso, Oklahoma.


K-State Dance