KU News: University Dance Company to present 2023 Fall Concert

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University Dance Company to present 2023 Fall Concert

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance faculty members, along with a regional guest choreographer, will present work in ballet, hip-hop and modern/contemporary dance styles at the University Dance Company Fall Concert next month. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-4 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5. Stage crew and dancers include students from Argonia, Chanute, De Soto, Hesston, Lawrence, Lenexa, Maize, Merriam, Mission, Overland Park, Shawnee, Topeka and Wichita.

KU Law to host inaugural Well-Being Summit

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law will host a summit with national experts in the field of well-being within the legal profession, both as a resource for KU Law students to learn self-care early on and for the broader legal community. The inaugural Well-Being Summit will take place Nov. 9, including a free CLE evening program and networking reception, open to the public. Registration is required.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Lisa Coble-Krings, Department of Theatre & Dance, 785-864-5685, [email protected], @KUTheatre,

University Dance Company to present 2023 Fall Concert

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance faculty members, along with a regional guest choreographer, will present work in ballet, hip-hop and modern/contemporary dance styles at the University Dance Company Fall Concert next month. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3-4 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 5.

Featured faculty choreographers are Ashley Brittingham, Michelle Heffner Hayes, Shannon Stewart and Maya Tillman-Rayton. They are joined by regional guest choreographer Logan Pachciarz. Several of the works convey unique interpretations of a “mythos” theme buoyed by the department’s award-winning scenography. In total, 47 students will perform, including a large ensemble of tap dancers. The concert features student-choreographed works by Jayhawk Tap Company.

The UDC Fall Concert will be presented in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre at Murphy Hall. Tickets are available for purchase on the UDC Fall Concert performance web page, by calling 785-864-3982, or in-person at the box office in Murphy Hall noon-5 p.m. weekdays. Additionally, the Nov. 3 and 5 performances will be livestreamed. For livestream tickets and access, see dance.ku.edu/streaming.

“Not all dance has a narrative, but it is fascinating to see what unfolds when story or text is interpreted through dance. Movement contains multitudes,” said Heffner Hayes, UDC Fall Concert producer and choreographer.

Pachciarz is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Moving Arts in Kansas City, Missouri, and previously performed with Twyla Tharp, Boston Ballet and Kansas City Ballet. He choreographed and set his four-part contemporary ballet on students during a two-week intensive rehearsal process earlier this fall. He presents “The Promise” as the concert’s finale. His participation in the UDC Fall Concert is made possible in part by the Janet Hamburg Visiting Artist Fund.

Brittingham is a full-time lecturer in the department and associate producer of the University Dance Company Fall Concert. She has choreographed “Beautiful Decay,” a contemporary ballet on pointe inspired by the emperor butterfly. Brittingham has performed a wide variety of classical and contemporary principal roles by the world’s leading choreographers. As a professional dancer with the Tulsa Ballet, she toured throughout the United States and Europe.

Heffner Hayes presents a restaging of her 2007 modern/contemporary work, “Cradling Persephone,” a retelling of the Greek myth re-envisioned as a survivor narrative. She is a professor of theatre & dance and interim director of dance in the Department and holds a doctorate in critical dance studies from the University of California, Riverside. There, she choreographed solo and group works in both the postmodern and flamenco dance traditions.

Stewart joined the Department of Theatre & Dance in August as a tenure-track assistant professor of contemporary dance. For this concert, she has restaged her contemporary work “Field Notes on Survival” on 10 dancers who use improvised and set material to make their way through a movement landscape with escalating risk. Stewart works interdisciplinarily, collaborating to make work for stages, galleries, film, specific sites and community rituals.

Tillman-Rayton is in her seventh year as a lecturer of hip-hop technique and second year as a full-time lecturer. She set “Sister Nancy,” a hip-hop work based in African folklore and featuring animal gods, on KU students this semester. She debuted her work, titled “Stingy Lulu’s Jumping Juke Joint,” at the 2023 KC Fringe Festival. Her works have previously been shown at KC Fringe Festival and at National Dance Week KC. Her dance teaching career spans 15 years in Lawrence and Kansas City communities.

Professional design team members are Rana Esfandiary, KU assistant professor of design and technology, as scenic designer, and Ann Sitzman, the department’s technical coordinator and multiterm lecturer, as lighting designer. Student designers are Zoe English, junior in theatre design from Mission, and Lacey Marr, sophomore in theatre design from Shawnee, who are both serving as the costume designers. Additionally, Caitlyn Howard, senior in visual art and and dance from Merriam, is projections designer on Tillman-Rayton’s work. Professional freelancer Victoria Frank is serving as guest stage manager.

Student dancers are McKenna Bizal, junior in psychology and dance from Overland Park; Morgan Blanton, junior in dance from Wichita; Riley Brown, a student in business marketing and strategic communications from Houston; Hope Casner, senior in dance and exercise science from Argonia; Alexandria Demps, junior in dance from Kansas City, Missouri; Olivia Dondzila, freshman in strategic communications from De Soto; Sofia Dunkelberger, freshman in dance from Wichita; Cassidy Dunn, sophomore in pre-nursing from Lawrence; Sydney Ebner, senior in dance; Madeline Evenson, freshman in astronomy from Minneapolis, Minnesota; Emma Faulkner, freshman in speech pathology from Springfield, Illinois; Mia Godinez, junior in journalism & mass communications from Chanute; Sophia Harrison, sophomore in dance from Topeka; Kayla Howard, freshman in biochemistry from Leland, North Carolina; Aubree Johnston, senior in dance from Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Nina Katz, sophomore in dance from Lawrence; Cullen Krishna, junior in dance and ecology from Bellevue, Nebraska; Jazmyne Le, junior in strategic communications from Wichita; Abigail Lorenz, sophomore in exercise science from Schaumburg, Illinois; Breck Luedke, freshman in dance from Kearney, Nebraska; Esther Brynn McBride, freshman from Alameda, California; Mahika Meesa, sophomore in political science from Overland Park; Savannah Meier, sophomore in multimedia journalism from Tampa, Florida; Olly Mitchell, junior in theatre in culture & society from Maize; Cailan Niswonger, senior in dance from Flower Mound, Texas; Katie Noll, sophomore in business analytics and dance from Overland Park; Sarah Perez, freshman in psychology from Wichita; Christie Phillips, senior in psychology and dance from St. Louis; Dylan Pope, freshman from Naperville, Illinois; Eliana Rundus, sophomore in dance; Madi Seelye, sophomore in dance from Lawrence; Anna Shelton, junior in dance from Hesston; Sloane Smith, sophomore in dance and exercise science from Littleton, Colorado; Ashley Stone, freshman in dance from Overland Park; Molly Stover-Brown, first-year freshman in illustration and dance from Wichita; Olivia Taylor, senior in exercise science from Lenexa; Nikolette Treadwell, junior in dance from Wichita; Joslyn Vetock, sophomore in dance from Omaha, Nebraska; Steph Wirth, sophomore in dance from Topeka; and Rizzy Xiong, a sophomore in education and psychology from Shanghai, China.

The University Dance Company concerts are funded in part by KU Student Senate. The University Dance Company is a production wing of the University of Kansas’ Department of Theatre & Dance.

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Contact: Emma Herrman, School of Law, [email protected], @kulawschool

KU Law to host inaugural Well-Being Summit

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Law will host a summit with national experts in the field of well-being within the legal profession, both as a resource for KU Law students to learn self-care early on and for the broader legal community. The inaugural Well-Being Summit will take place Nov. 9.

The 2023 Well-Being Summit begins with a Lunch & Learn available to KU Law students, faculty and staff. The summit concludes in the evening with a free CLE program and networking reception, open to the public. Registration is required.

Register and learn more about the Summit.

Speakers include:

· Heidi Brown, author of publications addressing lawyer well-being.

· Shailini George, author of “The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well.”

· Jerome Organ, co-director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

“This summit aims to center on the well-being of attorneys and law students,” said Leah Terranova, dean of academic and student affairs, “with a primary focus on closing the divide between the well-being expectations and needs of law students and the available resources provided by law schools and firms.”

KU Law has invited the Kansas Task Force for Lawyer Well-being, the Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program and local firms who have shown an interest and investment in lawyer well-being to participate as co-sponsors of this event.

 

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