Winter Dance Concert: UCALL members join students "At the Intersection"

Publication Date

Current students and older learners will join together on the stage of the Yulman Theater for this year’s Winter Dance Concert, “At the Intersection.”

For the first time, guest performers from the Union College Academy of Lifelong Learning (UCALL) are taking part alongside 31 student performers.

Performances will be held Wednesday, March 1, through Saturday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m., with a March 4 matinée at 2 p.m.

Students practicing for the Winter Dance Concert
Photo by Paige Curran '23

Now in its 18th year, the Winter Dance Concert is a staple of the dance program, one that adds color and energy during some of the season’s grayest days.

“At the Intersection” features 10 original pieces, including six student choreographed works and four faculty choreographed works. The concert represents the culmination of choreographic research by the six senior students enrolled in the Group Choreography course, as well as those enrolled in the dance faculty-led choreography practicum for ensemble, modern and ballet.

Also featured are works by faculty and guest choreographers, and original costume, lighting and set design created in collaboration with faculty of the Department of Theater and Dance.

“‘At the Intersection’ highlights the heart of the Dance Program – a laboratory to explore and illuminate the intersections of our interests, identities, academic interest and passions, using the dancing body to understand one’s self and connect more deeply with the greater world,” said Megan Flynn, the Gustave L. Davis ’59 and Susan S. Davis Director of Dance.

“We celebrate dance as a creative practice, a community model and as a driver of social change.”

This marks Flynn’s directorial debut with the Winter Dance Concert. She succeeds Miryam Moutillet, who retired last year after 21 years as head of the dance program.

Eight UCALL members have been coming to campus weekly since mid-January to practice for their parts in the dance concert.

“We’re delighted to collaborate with UCALL,” said Laurie Zabele Cawley, assistant director of dance. “It was natural to explore the intersections of dance and community, age and visibility, community and individual with this diverse group of individuals.”

The UCALL class meets Thursday mornings in the Henle Dance Studio in a class called Move to Dance taught by local instructor Maxine Lautenberg. She and Cawley collaborated on the choreography.

The UCALL members also have been rehearsing with students Sunday mornings.

Students practicing for the Winter Dance Concert
Photo by Paige Curran '23

“It is beautiful to see this intergenerational group of movers come together to learn from each other throughout the rehearsal process, creating something that could not exist without the other,” said Cawley.

Linda Goodman, a retired Union employee who is taking the class, said she loves the opportunity “to explore dance with younger generations as a way to redefine what aging and community mean.”

Stockade resident Joan Mikalson is also enthusiastic about participating.

“Love it,” she said. “‘At the Intersection’ evokes an image of a person looking ahead while also looking at a rear view mirror, with the caption, ‘Objects appear closer than they are…’ It is also about different communities engaging with each other.”

Zoe Watson ’23, one of the six student choreographers, finds the theme of this year’s concert apt for her Union experiences.

“As a biomedical engineering major, with a minor in both dance and electrical engineering, I find it interesting how the things that I love intersect here at Union,” Watson said.

“My choreography is about the intersection between day and night; the cyclical repetition of passing time and the way that we use it, but also about the beginnings and ends, in nature and in life. There is a fascinating interchange between day and night and where that change occurs.”

Other student choreographers, all seniors, are Emily Armlin, Jordan An, Armanda Noel, Isabella Russell, Haylee Snow.

Costumes are by Brittney Belz, costume design professor and interim chair of the department. Scenery is by Andrew Mannion and lighting by Drew Bodd.

Tickets are on sale through Eventbrite. The cost is $5 for those with a Union ID and for seniors.