Find Events Find Events
Choose date range
Free events
Prices
Select Series
Series
Select a Genre(s)
Genre
Filters
Filters
Select Series
Series
Select a Genre(s)
Genre
Free events
Prices

Author: Jill Kimball

Dance students and faculty join forces for “The Current”

Each year, University of Colorado Boulder dance students and faculty come together for “The Current,” an annual showcase of brand-new pieces. This year’s performances take place April 15-17 and feature evocative, original work by dance professors Erika Randall and Donna Mejia, lecturer Larry Southall, alumna Megan Odom and Roser Guest Artist Faye Driscoll.

“Every year at this show, I fall in love with our department all over again,” says Mejia, an assistant professor in dance. “I’m in awe of the artists here, and I’m unbelievably honored to be part of this crew. The work of my colleagues brings me to tears.”

Mejia, a self-described transnational fusion artist, has choreographed two works on the program: a longing solo exploring the theme of human intimacy, which draws on moves from Northern Africa and hip hop communities, and an ensemble work called “The Amplified Field,” an uptempo, highly athletic exploration of what it’s like to negotiate overlapping identities in the digital age.

“I’ve got blue eyes, African features and dreadlocks,” Mejia says. “My multi-ethnic physical appearance is definitely provoking and disruptive in social situations, and people frequently approach me asking ‘What are you?’ But in truth we all manage overlapping identities, to some extent. Maybe we’re mothers and also professionals. I happen to broadcast my overlapping identities in a very obvious way, but I observe everyone to be negotiating these cultural collisions within themselves.”

Randall, the dance division’s director, also choreographed two pieces in “The Current:” a driving, bombastic seven-person work inspired by composer David Lang’s piece “cheating, lying, stealing,” and an ensemble piece called “There I Still Hear,” created in memory of a close friend Randall lost recently.

“The whole piece is about what’s carried inside someone’s last breath,” Randall says. “It weaves together memory and nostalgia, and the dancers are meant to represent children who died from scarlet fever in the Victorian era.”

She’ll also perform a solo piece alumna Megan Odom was inspired to create after she’d read a draft of Randall’s novel, “The Secrets of the Dashboard Hula Dancer.” In the novel’s last chapter, a plastic hula dancer comes to life and finds out what happens when, instead of looking out the rear window, she turns around and glimpses the future.

This year’s Roser Guest Artist, Faye Driscoll, says she looks forward to visiting Boulder for the first time and collaborating with dance students on a whole new piece.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the students to use creative agency and work together to make something,” Driscoll says. “That’s what most of my pieces are about, too … the very fact that we’re interdependent and interconnected. Being able to connect with each other in person and in real time … that just doesn’t happen much these days.”

“The Current” showcases more than just physical talent. During the performance, audiences can feast their eyes on beautiful Victorian silhouettes created by CU-Boulder costume designer Markas Henry, music arranged by Daniel Beahm and light design by Jim Doyle, a CU-Boulder alumnus who lit up the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, the Lincoln Center fountain in New York and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video.

Upcoming Events View all events

Student Recitals

Loading
Oct 1-31, 2018

Student Recitals

Undergraduate, Master's and Doctoral musicians
Free and open to the public

The stars of tomorrow are on stage today at CU Boulder. The students of the College of Music present works old and new for their degree-qualifying rec...

Next to Normal

Loading
Oct 18-21, 2018

Next to Normal

A musical by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt
SOLD OUT

Body, memory and trauma collide in this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical exploring the collateral effects of mental illness. Set to an electrifying scor...

Wind Symphony

Loading
Oct 20, 2018

Wind Symphony

At Boulder's Rayback Collective
Free concert

The CU Wind Symphony performs chamber wind pieces at Rayback Collective, a popular food truck park, coffee house and live music venue in Boulder. Join...

Latest News View all news items

Oct 10, 2018

Never before seen on stage:…

The world premiere translation by visiting Roe Green Artist Diane Rayor will…

Sep 18, 2018

Combining community, culture and human…

“Vulnerability—I have an interesting relationship with that word ... It almost feels…

Aug 20, 2018

NOW ON SALE: Tickets for…

CU Presents is proud to present another specially curated lineup of music,…