SMU Meadows 2015 Fall Dance Concert
A world premiere, a masterwork by 20th-century dance pioneer José Limón and the revival of an acclaimed work by jazz dance artist and faculty member Danny Buraczeski will be featured in the Fall Dance Concert presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.
Opening the program is the premiere of Wild and Precious, a contemporary ballet by Robert Dekkers, artistic director of San Francisco’s Post:Ballet, set to composer Daniel Lentz’s minimalist work Wolf Is Dead. Created especially for the SMU Dance Ensemble, Wild and Precious is a celebration of both youthful energy and the evanescence of life. Performing choreography that is supremely physical and challenging, the dancers embody the dynamic spirit of “the body electric.”
The program continues with There Is a Time, a masterpiece of modern dance created in 1956 by José Limón and composer Norman Dello Joio, who earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for the score. It alludes to the text from Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes and its evocation of the human experience. Each movement of the work is titled with a biblical verse: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die…” SMU dancers are performing the work by invitation in October at New York’s Joyce Theater as part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the Limón Dance Company; the Meadows School of the Arts is one of only nine university dance programs internationally selected to perform in the Limón festival, which honors José Limón’s legacy as a choreographer and founder of one of the world’s greatest modern dance companies.
Concluding the Fall Dance Concert is a restaging of Professor Danny Buraczeski’s rollicking jazz work Swing Concerto, created in 1993 when he was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based company Jazzdance. It’s an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two great vernacular musical traditions, European Klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, synthesizing the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement.