Acclaimed modern dance troupe, Rioult, in Union residency

Publication Date

For the third straight year, the Theater and Dance Department is hosting a dance residency by an acclaimed modern dance troupe.

Members of the New York-City based Rioult (pronounced rey-you) will hold a master class for intermediate students Wednesday, Oct. 20, and a lecture/demonstration Thursday, Oct. 21. Both events will take place in the dance studio in the Visual Arts Building from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

The residency also includes a public performance at The Egg, Center for the Performing Arts in Albany, free to the Union community, on Friday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.

The troupe will present the meditative “Views of the Fleeting World” (2008), set to Bach fugues; “Les Noces” (2005), a provocative piece about the deconstruction of marriage rituals, danced to Stravinsky’s score; and “Bolero”(2002), which uses the repetitive, hypnotic music of Ravel.

At 7:15 p.m., there will be a pre-performance talk at the Egg by company founder and choreographer Pascal Rioult and Miryam Moutillet, Union’s dance program director.

The residency is made possible by a gift from Sue and Gus Davis ’59, a pathologist and active alumnus from Orange, Conn., in memory of their daughter, Stephanie C. Davis, who was a modern dancer and environmental activist with a lifelong love of the performing arts.

The residency “has become the fall highlight of the dance program,” said Moutillet. "It’s a marvelous opportunity for our students to attend a master class, meet the artistic director, and see and learn from the dancers in action rehearsing and performing. We all appreciate the artistic excellence in our midst."

Launched in 1994, the Rioult troupe fast became an established name in modern dance. Founder and artistic director Pascal Rioult, who was a track and field star in France, came to the United States on a fellowship from the French Ministry of Culture to study modern dance in 1981.He went on to become a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, interpreting many of the most prestigious roles in the Graham repertory.

Touted for blending classical structure with a profound sense of musical sensibility, Rioult has been called “one of the most adept and courageous choreographers in mainstream modern dance today” by Backstage magazine. His company of nine dancers presents an annual New York season, tours in theaters and festivals throughout North America, and focuses on arts-in-education programs throughout the world.

Union students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the Egg performance free of charge.

A limited numbers of tickets are available on first-come, first-serve basis with a Union ID. They may be picked up at the Yulman Theater Box Office weekdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m. and at the Visual Arts Building Office, 3-4 p.m.

Free round-trip transportation will be provided. Buses leave for the Egg in the Empire State Plaza from the Nott/Seward parking lot at 6:15 p.m. and return after the performance.