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The Hartt School Dance Division presents Hartt Dances on Friday, April 22, at 7:30 PM, and Saturday, April 23, at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM, at Lincoln Theater on the University of Hartford's West Hartford campus. Admission is $20, with discounts for seniors, students, and groups. Admission is free for University of Hartford students, faculty, and staff with current University ID. For tickets and information, contact the University of Hartford Box Office at 860.768.4228 or 1.800.274.8587, or visit www.hartford.edu/hartt.

Hartt's spring main stage concert presents the works of five stellar choreographers, two of them offering world premieres created on Hartt's dancers. The repertoire spans more than 175 years of dance, from August Bournonville's La Sylphide (1836), the epitome of Romantic Ballet, through José Limón's grand tribute to his mentor Doris Humphrey in Choreographic Offering (1964), Pascal Rioult's powerful Wien (1995), and finally Emery LeCrone and Shannon Gillen, who both are extending the line of tradition into the future with their new creations for The Hartt School's Dance Division.

Originally choreographed by August Bournonville in 1836, with music by H.S. Loevenskjold, this excerpt of La Sylphide is re-staged by Hartt Dance Division faculty member Hilda Morales, and is one of the world's oldest surviving romantic ballets choreographed by the Danish Ballet Master, Bournonville (1805-1879).

Nina Watt, Hartt Dance Division faculty member and former José Limón Company dancer, re-stages A Choreographic Offering, by the American master choreographer José Limón (1908-1972). This piece was created as an homage to Jose's mentor Doris Humphrey, using Bach's magnificent "Musical Offering." The piece is based on movements from Humphrey's dances, and contains variations, paraphrases, and motifs from fourteen of Humphrey's works.

Wein, a piece choreographed by Pascal Rioult in 1995, to Maurice Ravel's La Valse, is re-staged by Joyce Herring. Faithful to Ravel's intentions, Wein is a fantastic and fatal swirling of tragic dimensions. The Viennese waltz, the very image of social refinement, becomes the symbol of a disintegrating society taken into a whirlpool of violence and humiliation. The piece has the poisoned atmosphere of despair and fatalism. It is the trail of failed humanity; a premonition of triumphant evil. Since starting his own company in 1994, Pascal Rioult has dedicated his energies to forging and perfecting a choreographic style of his own, nurturing a robust ensemble of dancers, and growing his company. Backstage referred to him as "One of the most adept and courageous choreographers in mainstream modern dance today."

Hartt Dance Division students also will premiere Diorite, by Shannon Gillen, and a new work by by Emery LeCrone.

Shannon Gillen is a choreographer on the rise presenting works and receiving commissions in Italy, Montreal, Miami's Pulse Art Fair, and New York City. She is the Artistic Director of Shannon Gillen & Guests and co-founder/director of DOORKNOB COMPANY. Gillen received her BFA from The Juilliard School, where she was mentored by Martha Clark.

At the age of 23, Ms. LeCrone already has created several prominent works and competed in numerous choreography competitions, including The National Choreographers Initiative (2008), Ballet Builders (2008), and The A.W.A.R.D. Show! (2009). LeCrone has worked with dancers from the New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theater, and Ballet West. She also has received substantial grants and new commissions for her choreography.

This concert includes not only the beautiful artistry of Hartt dancers, but also features live music of Ravel and Paul Dresher performed by Hartt's Performance 20/20 honors chamber music ensemble, and a photography project by Grady Oliver, a photography student in the Hartford Art School. Oliver's photography of dance rehearsals and classes will be displayed in the Lincoln Theater lobby during the Hartt Dances performances.

Photo by: John Long
Pictured: Performance from Hartt Dances 2010

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