Weekend dance concert all about love

DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s Fall 2013 Dance Concert is all about love.

From Nov. 21 to 24, the NIU School of Theatre and Dance will present its first dance production of the 2013-2014 season, featuring performance pieces that present the many sides of being in love.

In order to more fully explore this complicated theme, faculty members Judy Chitwood, Paula Frasz, Autumn Eckman, and Morgan Fogarty have choreographed a wide variety of dance styles, from classical to modern, to equally diverse music, which includes Frederic Chopin, Tony Bennett, The Andrews Sisters and even Gorillaz.

The classical piece of the show, “Les Sylphides,” is a short non-narrative ballet, originally choreographed in 1909 by Michel Folkine. Restaged by Chitwood, “Les Sylphides” is an abstract essay of a young poet seeking inspiration under the moonlight.

“The ballet was quite revolutionary for its time,” Chitwood said.  “Its choreography is deceptively hard.”

A modern trio choreographed by Frasz, “Sea Songs” tells a story of three widows who are waiting for their husbands to return from sea. It has been performed numerous times with Frasz’s professional company, Danzloop Chicago. Frasz has described the work as “sailors lost at sea and the women who mourn them.” 

The concert also includes pieces that are not so serious. 

“ ‘Silly Love Songs’ shows the trials and tribulations of love and loss in a humorous light,” Frasz said. 

Set to the music of Tony Bennett, the seven-section dance piece takes the comical position that being shot by Cupid’s arrow takes its toll. 

Two of the faculty choreographers created new works specifically for the concert. 

Eckman’s construction is presented in multiple sections, choreographed to several different songs, and also shows the humorous side of love. Set to the music of The Andrews Sisters and The Barry Sisters, “It’s Only a Game” is about friendships and relationships straddling the thin line between love and like.

Fogarty also choreographed a new work “Pendulum.” She describes the piece as one dancer’s movement serving as another’s cue to start or stop moving. 

“Hence, the piece can fluctuate in time slightly,” Fogarty said, “but it always begins where it has ended, and ends where it begins.” 

Dance Concert

NIU School of Theatre and Dance presents its fall dance concert at Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb, Nov. 21-24. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $13 for seniors, $8 for students and $5 for children. For information, call 815-753-1600 or visit

This performance is not affiliated with DeKalb School Dist. 428.

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