Spring Dance Concert Pays Tribute to Duke Graduate’s Musical Legacy

After what seems like the longest winter, this spring’s dance concert by the Duke Dance Program, “ChoreoLab 2014,” offers to “reset your clock” as well as pay tribute to a Duke graduate who passed away in 2007.
ChoreoLab 2014 will be performed Friday and Saturday, March 28 – 29, at 8 p.m. in the Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke’s West Campus.
Barbara Dickinson, Professor of the Practice of Dance, has choreographed a modern piece for 11 student dancers, “Liquid Prisoner/Remembrance,” which is dedicated to Jennifer Fitzgerald, a talented composer and pianist who received her M.A. and Ph.D. in music composition from Duke University.
Fitzgerald lost her life to cancer at the age of 32, only two years after receiving her Ph.D.  Dickinson said she was honored to have worked with her and served as a member of her doctoral committee.  It has been her intention to choreograph one of Fitzgerald’s pieces for a long time, she said.
“A year or two before she graduated, Jennifer gave me ‘Liquid Prisoner’ to listen to and see if I wanted to choreograph it,” Dickinson said. “Well, now I am ready to do it.”
Fitzgerald’s composition pushes the boundaries of melody, rhythm and other hallmarks of classical music, and Dickinson said she found it intensely engaging as a score for a dance.
“This work is complex and endlessly interesting as I listen to it over and over again,” she said.
“Circadian Rhythms” is a contemporary ballet piece choreographed by Julie Janus Walters, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Dance. Subtitled “reset your clock,” the ballet for 18 dancers suggests ways that we recalibrate our internal biological clock through rhythm, pulse and motion.
Thomas F. defrantz, Professor of African and African American Studies and Dance, has created a dance theater piece called “I wish I’d never met you,” featuring a mirror tent created by his Live Processing, Live Art Bass Connections project group.
“Culebra” is an African dance piece choreographed by Associate Professor Ava Lavonne Vinesett, featuring live music by drummers, arranged by Richard J. Vinesett, Director of Music for African Dance.
In addition, Duke students have choreographed two pieces for the concert. One is a duet by Jennifer Margono and Maurice Dowell, and the second is a group piece choreographed by Bonnie Delaune, T ’14, and Zsofiz Solta, T ’14.
Tickets for ChoreoLab are $15 general, $5 students, and $10 for seniors, available at the box office or online at http://tickets.duke.edu
For more information:
Jennifer Prather
Publicity/Marketing Coordinator
Duke Dance Program