There is rarely a dull moment in the choreographies of Sweet Briar professors Ella and Mark Magruder, and this year’s Fall Dance Concert is no exception. In groups or solo, dancers will explore nature, human emotions and scientific phenomena to the scores of a Taiwanese composer, as well as a live orchestra. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 in Murchison Lane Auditorium in Babcock Fine Arts Center at Sweet Briar College. They are free and open to the public.
In Mark Magruder’s nearly 28 years at Sweet Briar, it is only the second time that the Sweet Briar Orchestra has accompanied the dance department live on stage. Led by Sweet Briar’s newly appointed orchestra director, Jeff Jones, the 13-member ensemble will perform Terry Riley’s “In C” to a dance Magruder choreographed for 15 Sweet Briar students.
Including two scores in the program by Taiwanese composer Lu Yun, who will attend the concert, is another special treat. The Magruders befriended Yun, a Ph.D. candidate in composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, while in Taiwan this summer for the “Dance and the Child International” (daCi) conference. Both professors have choreographed a dance to Yun’s work.
Other highlights include a duet by senior dance majors Sarah Fletcher and Jessica Murphy, of Lynchburg, exploring time, space and energy; and a dance for five choreographed by Murphy, in which the dancers portray a spider and a moth.
“On the surface this work appears to be about a spider and a moth, but its deeper meanings on the metaphorical level are about the struggle between dreams and hopes, and fears and past regrets,” Magruder explained.
The concert will also feature sophomore dance major Sadé Fountain in a solo about the loss of a loved one and the appreciation of life, Magruder said. “The dance depicts one’s inner struggle, and how one’s strength allows them to rise above life’s many challenges.”
Fountain’s classmate and fellow dance major Tiffanie Brown stars in a solo to Samuel Barber’s music and is the choreographer of a quartet in which four personalities try to work out their differences.
For more information about the concert, please call (434) 381-6150 or email [email protected].