‘Portraits of Dance’ to feature diverse array of works

By Chip Chandler

The passions of tango, the energy of jazz and the simplicity of joy will be featured in the next performance from West Texas A&M University Dance.

“Portraits of Dance” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 31 through April 2 and 2:30 p.m. April 3 in the Happy State Bank Studio Theatre inside the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and non-WT students, and free for WT students, faculty and staff with a Buff Gold Card.

Twenty-two dancers will perform six works choreographed by guest artist Kay Andersen as well as WT faculty members Sandra Miller, Staci Clay Hall, Edward R. Truitt, Leslie E. Williams and Crystal D. Bertrand.

“Portraits of Dance reflects on and celebrates the vitality of live performance,” said Bertrand, director of dance. “This concert will feature a collection of diverse dance works that will inspire our audiences. We are proud of the performers’ supremely physical work and how they embody a dynamic spirit uniting as one.”

Andersen, the retired professor of dance at Southern Utah University, first choreographed his “Movement Metamorphosis” for WT dancers for their November concert. The abstract work, which focuses more on movement than metaphorical meanings, has only improved in the subsequent months, dancer Kynleigh Hilton said.

“We all have gotten a lot more connected,” said Hilton, a junior dance major from Lubbock. “We performed this piece March 18 at the American College Dance Association in Beaumont, and in preparing for that and for this concert, we’ve only gotten better watching each other, breathing with each other and feeling the movements of each other.”

There’s “more joy” in the work now, said Abbi Roe, a dance major from Roswell, N.M.

“There’s more positive energy that’s emerging from it,” Roe said. “We’re feeding off of each other’s energy.”

Other works will include Miller’s “Red Tango”; Hall’s “I Got You,” a large group jazz dance number; Truitt’s “Moments,” an abstract work in three movements; Williams’ “See Me,” a contemporary duet; and Bertrand’s “Simply the Best,” a large-ensemble musical theater work .

Performers, most of whom are dance majors, include Roe; Hilton; Terrell Savoy, a freshman from Washington, D.C.; Grace Drake, a junior from Lubbock; Alexandra McPhillips, a junior from Conroe; Sierra Cross, a junior from Lubbock; Penelope Welch, a junior from Frisco; Eden Lovett, a junior from Amarillo; Zakyya Taylor, a sophomore from Lubbock; Benjamin Goesl, a senior from Texarkana; Matt Miller, a sophomore from Lubbock; Raeann Davis, a student pursing a second bachelor’s degree in nursing from Rockwall; Amy Allen, a junior from Iowa Park; Amon Fredinand, a freshman from Amarillo; Anthony Femath, a junior from El Paso; Emily Evans, a junior from Amarillo; Kaitlyn Roberson, a sophomore from Pampa; Lorelai Stager, a freshman from San Antonio; Jamison Uselding, a junior from Amarillo; Kaleigh de la Cruz, a freshman from Chicago; Alexis Ayala, a senior from El Paso; and Hanna Hosnedl, a junior from Downers Grove, Ill.

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