UCSB Undergrads Present <em>Summerdances</em>
David Bazemore

Next Wednesday, August 1, and Thursday, August 2, at 8 p.m., more than 50 UCSB summer school students of the latter persuasion will take the stage at the HSSB Ballet Studio Theater to show what they’ve created in just six weeks of class. The program is called Summerdances, and it features students from beginning and intermediate modern, jazz, and ballet classes taught by dance department faculty members Jerry Pearson, Delila Moseley, Valerie Huston, and Nancy Colahan. In addition to presenting original choreography, faculty members will deliver brief lecture demonstrations on technique.

Colahan, who taught the intermediate modern dance class, has worked with composer William Pasley to create a new score for her work for 12 dancers. She says his score combines moments of delicacy with sections of fierce power. “As a former dancer, he is sensitive to momentum and breath,” Colahan said of Pasley. “He has a rich imagination, which lends itself brilliantly to atmosphere, moods, and complexity of sound to support the movement.”

When we spoke, less than five weeks into summer school, Colahan had already generated nearly 10 minutes of material. “It’s a seed,” she explained. “Maybe it has legs; we’ll see.”

For students who enroll in the whirlwind six-week session, summer school is a chance to dive into an intensive period and hone their technique and performance skills. They devote extra time outside of class to rehearsals and get the thrill of presenting their creation to an audience — in some cases, for the first time.

From the perspective of the dance faculty, the session is an opportunity to take on new collaborations and to try out new choreographic concepts. For audience members, Summerdances is a chance to check out emerging talents and to celebrate the brighter side of summer school. For tickets, call 893-3022 or visit theaterdance.ucsb.edu.


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