‘Springdances…impermanence’ at UWM May 9-11


While the three choreographers of “Springdances…impermanence” approached their research from individual points of inspiration, the performance has an overarching theme that revolves around the exploration of the durability of the body and the fleeting experience of our place in the world.

Presented May 9-11, the performance features new choreography by Assistant Professor Maria Gillespie, Senior Lecturer Dani Kuepper and Visiting Assistant Professor Christina Briggs Winslow. Springdances is performed by UWM Dance students, with original music by Tim Russell, associate artist in the Peck School.

“All three of us independently drew on photography for this concert,” says Gillespie. “But Springdances will still be an intriguing mix because of our different approaches to the topic and how we mine vocabulary from these student dancers.”

Gillespie’s new work, inspired by the photography of Francesca Woodman, investigates the notion of vanishing through a series of arrivals and departures.

In a landscape where movement is fleeting, dancers are momentarily reframed by gestures as ethnographic myths. Slipping between locations, dancers detach and re-form to soar in a state of impermanence.

This dance explores both attending to space and the retreat into self to create a landscape of movement that celebrates liminal states and temporary spaces.

Kuepper’s collaborative process was inspired by Vivan Maier’s street photography, which juxtaposes urban glamour and decay. Kuepper and the dancers responded to Maier’s human and architectural subjects – at times pristine, glamorous and youthful, but also collapsed, tattered and broken.

The dancers venture on a journey similar to the camera’s lens, from the bird’s-eye view to the vulnerable close-up, reflecting on the fractures in their own lives.

Briggs Winslow’s newest choreography uses darkroom lighting to explore imprints, duplication and shadow images. The physical imprint of a dancer and the residue the dancer leaves behind serve as a metaphor for the fragility and transience of the human condition.

Springdances will be presented Thursday, May 9, and Friday, May 10, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, May 11, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall Studio 254. There is an opening night reception on Thursday after the performance and a post-show discussion Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.

Tickets are available from the Peck School of the Arts box office, 414-229-4308, or at arts.uwm.edu/tickets. Tickets are $17/general public; $12/UWM faculty, staff and alumni, and seniors; $10/PSOA faculty and staff, students from other universities; $9/UWM students; and $5/ages 13-18 and Peck School students. Peck School Dance majors and children under 12 are admitted free.