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Edgy dance highlights JU “MFA in the Works” student show Feb. 20-21

Cutting-edge contemporary dance highlights this year’s free “MFA in the Works” student choreography event Feb. 20-21 at Jacksonville University.

The informal collaborative show features the choreographic works-in-progress of candidates for the JU Master of Fine Arts-Choreography, performed by undergraduate dance majors.

Ashton Johnston

“This year’s show features new choreographers who have impressive bios from incredible professional careers, so the show is full of current and edgy dance that engages the audience in both intellectual and visual ways,” said show director Cari Coble, an associate professor of dance and director of the MFA programs in Choreography and Visual Arts at JU.

The unique JU MFA-Choreography degree is a two-year low-residency program geared toward current mid-career artists. Its mantra is “Where Professionals are Reborn.”

Evelyn Kenner

“Because the choreographers are from both coasts and work in California and New York, you will see the different and emerging dance styles specific to those two major capitals of the dance industry, all in one show,” she said. “This performance brings the best of both coasts straight to Jacksonville.”

Coble said the partnership between undergraduates and graduate students is a critical aspect of the event.

“When undergraduates get a taste of the professional dance industry by working with MFAs who are dancing and choreographing professionally, it is a real eye opener to how hard the dance world is to thrive in,” she said. “There is so much competition and talent that these dancers have to work long hours each day to pursue their dreams.”

The performances in the Alexander Brest Dance Pavilion are open to the public and include a brown-bag lunch showing at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, as well as a show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21.

Here is the show order for each graduate student’s piece, along with the undergraduate dancers for each:

Holly Johnston — Joshua Abbott, Kris Danley, Jared Bogart, Maria Kouppari, Molly Dahl and Krista Lamberti

Shannon Watters — Gabby Rogue

Lara Binder — Alexis Richens, Brittani Wyskocil, Amber Daniels, Molly Dahl and Nicolle Lentz

Jessica DiMauro — Kristin Delibovi, Jenine Brodeur, Gabby Rogue, Stephanie Hodges, Philipili Jackson and Adrian Trejo

Michael Lomeka — Allison Nilsen, Ashton Johnson, Gaylyn Singletary, Rachel Cliff, Evelyn Kenner, Bert Johnson, Graham Dobbs, Antonio Harvey and Jared Bogart

For more information about the show and the JU MFA Choreography program, call (904) 256-7398 or visit http://mfa.ju.edu