The Dance Department’s spring concert, EMotion, delivers on both implications of its title. Three pieces, by three choreographers, come on strong with energy and visual complexity, and with bold contributions from resident musician and composer John Osburn and guest artist, singer/songwriter Elijah Aaron.
Guest choreographer Olivier Tarpaga, originally from Burkina Faso, opens the program with his collaborative composition Avec Le Vent, a surreal, dreamlike landscape of movement with eight student dancers. Aaron’s atmospheric vocals and guitar are punctuated by riveting thunderstorms of drumming by Osburn.
The Vivian Girls is Associate Professor of Dance Sandra Mathern-Smith’s response to an epic fantasy manuscript by outsider artist Henry Dargus, and it’s a satisfying perpetual motion machine of eight women embodying the fierceness and urgency of a team of tireless superheroes.
The third and final piece is a series of four excerpts from Swan Lake, re-imagined and choreographed by South African performer Dada Masilo, who set this work on 16 students during her weeklong residency at Denison in February. Masilo’s unique movement vocabulary and her witty and bold gender-bending interpretation of classic narrative will be familiar to anyone who saw her performance in Swasey Chapel earlier this semester.
Performances are nightly, 8 to 9 p.m., in Doane Dance Building (231 West College Street) through Saturday, April 21. Call for reservations: 740.587.6799.