Fall Faculty Dance Concert 2022

Northampton, MA – The Smith College Department of Dance presents the Fall Faculty Dance Concert, featuring a Five College Dance guest artist project by Passion Fruit Dance Company; new work by critically acclaimed choreographer Bebe Miller and long-time collaborator Angie Hauser; and new choreographies by guest artist Sarah Lass and faculty artist Rodger Blum. The concert runs three nights, November 17, 18, 19 at 8 p.m., in Theatre 14, part of Smith College’s Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts.

The Department of Dance is thrilled to present this concert to a live audience in Theatre 14 for the first time since 2019. The concert highlights work by two critically acclaimed guest artists. Bebe Miller joins with collaborator and Smith faculty Angie Hauser to create a new ensemble work. Miller is known for her body of work which includes more than 50 contemporary dance and performance pieces. Her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience, and beauty shows up in her detailed choreography. Her aesthetic relies on the interplay of a work’s idea, its physicality, and the contributions of company members to fashion its singular voice. Tatiana Desardouin is the 2022 Five College Dance Guest Artist, bringing her choreography, teaching, and artistry to the entire FCD community this semester. Tatiana Desardouin is the director and choreographer of Passion Fruit Dance Company, a street dance theater and educational company established in 2016. Desardouin aims to promote the authenticity of street dance and clubbing styles, Hip Hop and house cultures and their black heritage, as well as its contribution to society, by exploring different social problems through their dance pieces and artistic practices.

Dance legend, Bebe Miller is no stranger to Smith College. She joined the faculty as the William Allan Neilson Professor in 2016, and in 2018 she set the Blues Project on Smith College students inspired by her icon choreography “Hendrix Project” (1991). For this concert, Miller and Hauser create a new ensemble piece for seven dancers. The work is marked by the team’s ongoing interest in how culture shows up in the body, and how movement and behavior can intertwine to create group syntax.

This year’s Five College Dance project is Connection by Passion Fruit Dance Company featuring 14 dancers from across the Five Colleges. It is unique in that it has been choreographed at its inception on Five College dancers, offering them the experience of working with a professional active in the field. Choreographer Tatiana Desardouin says about the piece, “Connection highlights the singularities of the dancers in their search for connection, but also the idea of being one with everyone and everything that exists.” Mount Holyoke Assistant Professor Shakia Barron serves as the rehearsal director. Connection premiere’s November 10-12 as part of Amherst and Mount Holyoke’s Faculty Concert with the same cast that will perform in Smith’s concert the following week.

All Together, a piece made by Guest Artist and Smith College alum Sarah Lass, in collaboration with 11 undergraduate dancers, is a meditation on joy. Inspired by the writing of Ross Gay and Zadie Smith, the piece explores the relationship between joy and grief, the importance of companionship, and, ultimately, how we move through together. Sarah Lass is a Colorado-raised, Massachusetts-based dancer, choreographer, writer, and teacher. Across modes of creative output, her work explores intersections between embodiment, perception, place, and design, and her research unfolds through a transdisciplinary process of dancemaking and creative writing.

Smith faculty Rodger Blum presents Grown Ocean, an abstract contemporary ballet for 13 dancers. “I love dance. It is pure joy when joy is needed and also a profound and humbling method of dissecting our shared humanity.” Blum says “With this dance, I hope to acknowledge the darkness, but welcome the light. And, as always, I want to celebrate the talent and optimism of the young dancers I'm so fortunate to work with.”

The Fall Faculty Dance Concert will be held in Theatre 14. Tickets are reserved seating, $5 for students and 65+, and $10 for adults. The event is open to the public with masks optional but encouraged. Tickets can be purchased online at https://smitharts.booktix.com or by emailing BoxOffice@smith.edu.