Dance at Illinois is collaborating with Krannert Center on an extended residency of Donald Byrd, a George A. Miller Visiting Artist, and his company Spectrum Dance Theater. Often described as a “citizen artist,” Donald Byrd is a Tony Award-nominated (The Color Purple) and Bessie Award-winning choreographer (The Minstrel Show). In fall 2021, Byrd will recreate his dazzling work Love on Dance at Illinois students. Set to the elegant Cello Suites by Benjamin Britten, this work offers “. . . a whole exploration of the human heart’s vagaries, rendered into movement as precise as any language” (The Seattle Times). Byrd will return on February 19, 2022, with his company Spectrum Dance Theatre to present their work Strange Fruit on the Krannert Center Marquee series.
November Dance will also showcase three new, exciting choreographers. Anna Sapozhnikov, Dance at Illinois alumna (MFA ’02) and artistic director of her company Moyamo Dance, will take a deep look into the traditional Russian family structure within the 21st century as inspired by legendary Ballet Russes choreographer Bronislava Nijinska’s signature work Les Noces. Jakki Kalogridis (MFA ’22) will create a work for first-year Dance at Illinois students exploring complex polyrhythmic relationships between the auditory and the visual. Playful and evocative, it confronts assumptions we harbor about virtuosity, presenting the true challenge as one dependent more on association and less on individual elements. Jacob Henss (MFA ’22) will present his thesis choreography Harbored Weight, a collage of superimposed aesthetic forms affected by a downward directed awareness. This piece spans a plethora of content from death rituals to remnants of club artifacts, sharing space in a montage of visual references and ephemeral movement.
May contain adult content.
This performance will be available for on-demand viewing Monday, November 15-Monday, November 29.
November Dance 2021 will also be performed before an in-person audience Thursday-Saturday, November 11-13, in Colwell Playhouse.
Donald Byrd’s residency is supported by the George A. Miller Committee, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The Department of Dance, The Department of Theatre, African American Studies, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.