MTSU Dances To Keep Less Fortunate Warm

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(MTSU file photo courtesy of Martin O'Connor)

(MURFREESBORO) Students and faculty in Tennessee's only full dance degree program will help warm winter evenings with their artistic abilities -- and with donations of warm necessities for homeless neighbors -- Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 21-23, 2019.

The MTSU Dance Theatre's Fall Dance Concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21-23 in Tucker Theatre, located inside the Boutwell Dramatic Arts Building at 615 Champion Way. A campus map is available at http://bit.ly/MTSUParkingMap.

General-admission tickets for the Fall Dance Concert 2019 are $10 for adults and $5 for K-12 students and seniors and are available at http://mtsu.edu/theatreanddance. MTSU students will be admitted free at the box office with a current ID.

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Dancers also are encouraging concertgoers to bring blankets, socks, sleeping bags, three-man tents and adult undergarments to Tucker Theatre to donate to the Murfreesboro Cold Patrol. MTSU Dance Theatre has a new partnership with the organization, which aims to end the revolving door of homelessness through outreach, advocacy and resource support.

The evenings' performances by MTSU's pre-professional company of more than 30 artists will include faculty and guest choreography with themes as varied as homelessness, technology, and personal triumph.

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MTSU Dance Theatre members had the opportunity this fall to work with Chicago-based guest choreographer William Gill in the creation of his new work, "This Too Shall Pass."

Gill's piece shines a light on the reality of homelessness and challenges viewers to reflect on their own sense of compassion, dance professor Meg Brooker said. The opening section exposes the harsh realities that homeless people face; the work's second section, in contrast, celebrates community, family, love and support.

"Our students first worked with guest artist Will Gill as part of the Nick Cave/Heard event in collaboration with the Frist Museum in Nashville (in April 2018)," Brooker explained. "We were so excited by and impressed by his choreography that we knew he would be a dynamic guest artist to bring to MTSU.

"Will's piece raises awareness for the very real circumstances faced by homeless members of our community, and our Dance Society student organization felt it was important to partner with Murfreesboro Cold Patrol to collect donations during our concerts. We are so proud of how our students are using their public platform as artists to create social awareness and change."

Contributions from the MTSU Distinguished Lecture Fund made Gill's fall-semester residency possible.

Additional performances in this fall's dance concert include:

  • Brooker's "Zephyr," which is inspired by the shape, texture and colors of summer storm clouds.
  • Dance instructor Laurel Walker's "Anthropogenic," which reflects on society's obsession with and attachment to technology.
  • Dance lecturer Jade Treadwell's "Of Sand & Salt," a visual investigation of the coast of Senegal through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the pursuit of diasporic liberation and reclamation.
  • Alumnus and adjunct instructor Aaron Allen's "You Are Here," which explores relationships and individuality amid society's expectations.
  • Student choreographer Sierra Smith's "Lost Souls Get Found," which addresses the emotional dilemmas in approaching graduation and the power of believing in one's strength to succeed.

MTSU Dance Theatre also will conduct a silent auction on items on display in the Tucker Theatre lobby to raise funds for dance program scholarships.

MTSU offers the only full Bachelor of Science degree in dance at any public university in Tennessee.

The degree track, launched in fall 2017, allows students to study a combination of different levels of technique classes, dance history and theory, theories around kinesiology, anatomy and healthy training for the body, as well as choreography and improvisation. One course of study focuses on performance and choreography, while the other track concentrates on pedagogy and practice.

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dancers, donate clothing, MTSU, Murfreesboro, WGNS
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