Dance BFA Students Premiere New Works in “Variance”
By Anika Ljung
Spend an evening immersing yourself in the art of dance at the fourth annual “Variance,” the CSULB Department of Dance’s Bachelor of Fine Arts concert. Featuring seven works choreographed by BFA candidates and guest artists, “Variance” promises to be a dynamic night of dance that will leave you feeling fulfilled and inspired.
“This year, the concert is incredibly diverse in both its subject matter and how these ideas manifest stylistically,” said Rebecca Lemme, show director and assistant professor of dance. “The student work is all really robust and original, and our commission from guest artist Micaela Taylor is a total showstopper.”
The five featured BFA choreographers — Aisha Shauntel Bardge, Jeffery Finnerman, Jasmyn Hamblin, Allie Miks, and Nancy Rivera — and their dancers have been rehearsing since last spring, collaborating with MFA and alumni composers from the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music—and even visual art students—to bring an interdisciplinary and artistically cohesive performance to the stage.
Everything—from adolescent gender constructs, to analysis of the power consciousness, to the evolution of a creative process—is explored and revealed through movement. Each student begins with an idea and uses collaboration with lighting design, costuming, and musical composition to create works entirely generated from scratch and completely unique in form.
Alongside the student work comes pieces by faculty member Rebecca Bryant and LA-based dancer Micaela Taylor. Bryant’s “Parte Uno: Pelando la Piel,” originally premiered in Ecuador earlier this year, combines movement and video in exploring privilege and post-colonialism. Taylor’s work, “Ooo,” touches on the chaotic mind of being an artist and how it yearns for comfort within the hectic life of an upcoming professional.
“I think everyone will walk away feeling moved, or inspired to move, in some way or another,” said Lemme.
Performances run this weekend, Oct. 10 - 12 at 8 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m at the Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theatre. A Q&A with the student and guest choreographers and special collaborators is scheduled to follow Saturday night’s performance. Tickets are $22 for general admission and $16 for students, seniors, and alumni and can be purchased at the box office or here.