Marking its 25th year, Dance Theatre of Santa Fe (DTSF) presents “Elements of Style: Scrapbook in Motion” at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, April 11-12, 2014, in the Fine Arts Hall at Santa Fe College’s Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville.
Tickets are: $15 orchestra; $12 balcony; $9 for University of Florida students, seniors, and children 12 and under; and free to Santa Fe College students and employees. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:
Silver Anniversary & DTSF Mission
“We chose ‘Scrapbook in Motion’ as our theme because we wanted to celebrate by revisiting our first 25 years,” said DTSF Director Tari Kendall. “The program is a retrospective of pieces we’ve performed before—modern dances, theatrical dances and contemporary ballets. The hip-hop dance is the only new piece on the program.”
Highlights include “Soaring,” first performed by the modern dance pioneer Doris Humphrey and featuring live accompaniment by Music Professor Mitch McKay on grand piano; two dances choreographed by the Cuban dance icon Alberto Alonso; and a modern piece by the European choreographer Stefanie Batten-Bland.
“From the start, the mission of Dance Theatre of Santa Fe has been to include as many dancers as possible,” Kendall explained. “Dance is a community art and we didn’t want to exclude anyone because of body type or any other criterion. We’ve included not only ballet and modern dance in our repertoire, but also dance styles from Africa and other places throughout the world. We’ve worked with whatever budget we had and whatever venue has been available, from the old Building E Auditorium here on campus to the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and now, our own Fine Arts Hall. And we’ve always kept a strong focus on entertainment.”
“At the same time,” Kendall continued, “we’ve always treated our performances as professional productions. We want the dance students who leave Santa Fe to have the training and work ethic to be successful in dance companies or upper division schools.”
For the two nights of DTSF performances, the lobby of the Fine Arts Hall will be transformed into a virtual scrapbook of the group’s past 25 years. Posters of past performances will be on view and the group hopes to have a video compilation of DTSF alumni dancing to Pharrell Williams’s hit, “Happy.” Dancers will join audience members in the lobby after each performance to celebrate.
A list of guest choreographers for Dance Theatre of Santa Fe from the past 25 years is included below.
“We have a lovely group of about 50 dancers, some of whom are new to dance but who were willing to commit to rehearsing and participating at the level we require,” Kendall said. “There’s a positive, symbiotic feeling among all the dancers and all the stars are lining up for this production!”
The program includes the following dances. Dates in parentheses indicate the year the dance was first performed by Dance Theatre of Santa Fe.
- “Soaring,” choreographed by Doris Humphrey and Ruth St. Denis, is an iconic piece from 1920—the early days of modern dance—that features performers interacting with a 20’ x 20’ scarf. Described as “the lyric idea of wind, wave, and water,” the dance evokes the elements of nature. Dance Professor Sarah Harkness-Sebastian will perform the leading role and, according to Kendall, “She is the epitome of Doris Humphrey!” (1995)
- “Let’s Play,” choreographed by Kendall, is a theatrical piece based on handclapping games and games with balls that are played by children. (2012)
- “Concerto” is a contemporary ballet that was the first piece choreographed for DTSF by Alberto Alonso. Alonso taught for 15 years at SF College after emigrating from Cuba in the 1990s. He is famous in the dance world for having choreographed “Carmen” for Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet. Dance Professor Jessica Mayhew, who performed in “Concerto” while she was a student in the SF College Dance Department, is restaging the dance. (1993)
- “Returning” is a modern dance choreographed by Harkness-Sebastian that was performed with the Joffrey Dance Group earlier this year. (2013)
- “Between the Lines” is a contemporary ballet choreographed by Mayhew that features athletic dancers jumping over, through, and under a non-traditional barre, the stationary handrail dancers use for warm-up exercise. (2012)
- “Sorsornet” is a traditional African celebration accompanied by drums that is choreographed by Mohamed DaCosta. (2013)
- “Ebullition” is a modern dance choreographed by Stefanie Batten-Bland, who is described by Kendall as “a European artist who specializes in perpetual movement experiences that are soft and fluid.” The title of the piece refers to the chemical process that occurs when something is just about to come to a boil. (2014)
- “Legend in My Living Room” is a theatrical piece that was originally choreographed by Alonso for Kendall and will be performed this year by Mayhew. “I keep hearing Alberto’s voice in rehearsals,” Kendall mused. (1994)
- “Siempre mi Corazon” (“Always My Heart”) is a contemporary ballet for two with a Spanish flair choreographed by Fine Arts Department Chairperson and former DTSF Director Alora Haynes. (2013)
- “Recipes for Pie,” choreographed by Dance Professor Melissa Brenner, is described by Kendall as “a campy interlude about bakers gone wild—lots of fun.” (2009)
- “Callaloo” is a hip-hop dance choreographed by student Jerel Hercules. (2014)
For more information about Dance Theatre of Santa Fe, call Tari Kendall at 352-395-5916. For more information about Santa Fe College’s Fine Arts programs, call Alora Haynes at 352-395-5296.
Dance Theatre of Santa Fe Guest Choreographers From the Past 25 Years
Alberto Alonso, Artistic Director and Choreographer, Ballet Nacional de Cuba; choreographer of “Carmen” for the Bolshoi Ballet
Marion Caffey, Broadway choreographer; Producer, Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater
Brian H. Brooks, Broadway choreographer
Antolino Alvarez, Instructor, Dance New Amsterdam (DNA)
Peter G. Kalivas, Artistic Director, The PGK Dance Project
Douglas Gillespie, Rehearsal Director and Dancer, Kate Weare Company
Andy Noble, Co-Artistic Director, NobleMotion Dance; Assistant Professor of Dance, Sam Houston State University
Kenneth Balint, Dance Professor, California State University, Fresno
Valerie Bergman, Director, Rainbow Dance Theatre
Anthony Morgan, Dance Professor, Florida State University
David Palmer, Associate Artistic Director, The Washington Ballet