Webster Dance Ensemble Presents 2019 Concert April 26-28

Apr. 8, 2019

Webster Dance Ensemble Presents Their 2019 Concert April 26- 28

Webster Dance Ensemble (WUDE), under the Artistic Direction of Beckah Reed, presents their 2019 Concert April 26-28.

The concert features a variety of works performed by our students in a wide range of styles, from tap to contemporary, ballet to aerial. It showcases the dancers’ extensive technical training and their very eclectic performance abilities. Webster faculty members Maggi Dueker, Jan Cosby, Monica Newsam, and Michael Uthoff, as well as visiting guest artist, Zhao Xi, and guest choreographer, Antonio Douthit-Boyd have choreographed several premiers and all original works for this year's performance.  

Performance Dates, Times, Tickets

April 26-27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 at 2 p.m
Browning Mainstage, Loretto-Hilton Center
Admission is $12 for general pubic, $6 for students and seniors
Tickets are availably by calling the Fine Arts Hotline at 314-968-7128

Choreographers

Jan Cosby is an alumna of Webster and has been teaching rhythm tap in the Department of Dance since 1990. This year, she was commissioned to create a new tap piece, which she has chosen to choreograph as a trio, to the music of Blue Monk. This opportunity for our students is possible through the generosity of the Lara Elizabeth Turek Alumna Fellowship Award.

Guest Artist Antonio Douthit-Boyd, co-artistic director of Dance at COCA (Center of Creative Arts), and former performer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has created a fast-paced, driving, dynamic ballet for our students.
“We dance our freest on the edge of the horizon before the sun appears,” says Douthit-Boyd. 

Maggi Dueker, a visiting professor and interim chair in the Department of Dance, has choreographed many works for Webster Dance Ensemble over the years. "As a choreographer, it is a treat to work with dancers who are both technically proficient and creatively curious," says Dueker. "I always enjoy having the opportunity to work with my own students in a creative process because it allows us to interact in a different way, exploring and discovering together.”

Monica Newsam described her 2019 Dance Ensemble premier, Glimpse the Infinite, as one that is influenced by her personal experience of visiting the decorated caves of Lascaux in the Vezere, Valley in France. "This aerial hoop/lyra group piece is a journey in search of a sanctuary; a place of balance and fluidity, " says Newsam. "The dancers stand in the portal of light and dark while connecting with this spiritual space and hoping to find the infinite.”  Hungarian musician and composer Zoltan Lantos collaboriated with Newsam to create an original sound score of Glimpse the Infinite. The pair had previously worked together on a WUDE piece in 2015. 

Michael Uthoff, adjunct faculty in the Department of Dance, has choreographed a ballet for WUDE annually since 2011. This year’s ballet is an intimate, behind the scenes’ view, stemming “from the qualities of the dancers as performers and human beings," says Uthoff. The dancers contributed to the essence of the work which forms a partnership as the music of Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Salgan resonates and the movement flows."

Zhao Xi is a visiting guest artist from China. The women in her choreography share a sense of sisterhood, strength, and yet an individual voice in the transformation process one experiences during one’s life journey. “The women are from an ancient time, yet all time, connected to the earth, yet soaring into their souls’ stirrings,” envisions Xi. 

Biographies

Jan Cosby began teaching tap at Webster University in 1990. Prior to that, she was a performer, teacher and designer with the award-winning Metro Theater Company. Founder and Artistic Director of Tapsichore, a concert tap company, she has performed and taught for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project, the St. Louis Tap Festival, and also taught at Washington University, the Ballet Conservatory of Saint Louis and DaySpring School of the Arts. Crosby served as Regional Representative for the International Tap Association and was also on the Steering Committee for that organization. Crosby continues to teach privately and work on choreographic projects.

In 2015, Antonio Douthit-Boyd was named Co-Artistic Director of Dance of COCA, where he began his dance training at age 16 under the direction of Lee Nolting. Prior to his time with COCA, he spent 11 years with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He trained and performed with the Alexandra School of Ballet at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet, the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, and the Les Grands Ballet Canadiens de Montréal. After becoming a member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1999, he appeared in featured roles in the ballet, South African Suite, Dougla, Concerto in F, Return, and Dwight Rhoden’s Twist. He is an ABT® Certified Teacher, reaching level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. Douthit-Boyd is also a faculty member at Washington University, where he teaches modern dance in the collaborative MFA program between the university and COCA.

Maggi Dueker is a visiting professor and the interim chair of the Department of Dance at Webster. She founded Webster's Summer Dance Intensives and currently serves as the director of the program. Her choreography has been performed by the Webster Dance Ensemble, Convergence, and for the American College Dance Festival, Dancing in the Streets and National Dance Day among others. Dueker is an MFA candidate in Dance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and received her BFA in Dance from Webster (Summa Cum Laude). She has performed professionally with Giordano Dance Chicago II, Royal Caribbean International, the MUNY and as a freelance performer with Melissa Thodos and Dancers, and Chicago Arts Project. Previously, she has taught at Northwestern University, Giordano Dance Center, and is currently teaching at the Big Muddy Dance Company. For her work at Webster, Dueker has been nominated for the Kemper Excellence in Teaching Award.

Monica Newsam, a native of Panama, serves as the president of Newsam Aerial Dance. Her passion for movement and dance started at the age of five. Since then, she has embarked on a life-long journey to define her singular artistic vision. She received her BFA at the National School of Dance and Folklore in Havana. She went on to receive her graduate degree in Indian Classical Dance at the Sivananda Yoga Center of Kerala and also a master's degree in education from Lindenwood University. Currently, Monica teaches aerial dance at Webster where she also choreographs for WUDE. in 2017, Newsam, along with the help of her sister, Graciela, published an aerial dance curriculum which the two implement in teaching workshops. Since 2008, Newsam has worked with the St. Louis non-profit consortium ANNONYArts. Here, she collaborates with artist Tom Brady in performance installations. Throughout her extensive creative output, Monica seeks to expand global awareness of aerial dance as an exciting, expressive movement discipline. 

Michael Uthoff, a native of Chile, traveled to New York after deciding to pursue dance. He has taught extensively throughout the county, as well as choreographed and directed numerous Operas. After studying at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, The School of American Ballet and Juilliard School of Music, he became a soloist with the Jose Limon Dance Company and soon after joined the Joffrey Ballet where he rose to become a principal dancer. Uthoff then went on to join the First Chamber Dance Company of New York, touring the USA extensively and also Latin America and Eastern Europe. Uthoff developed the Hartford Ballet, turning the company into one of the most visible small dance companies in the United States. Uthoff has served in many prestigious roles including artistic director, director, and faculty member. At Webster, Uthoff has continued taught, choreographed, and nurtured students. He has received numerous grants from the NEA to local state agencies and major foundations such as The Rockefeller Foundation, The Duke Charitable Fund, Lila Wallace Readers Digest Foundation, and many others. 

Zhao Xi received her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and her MA in Dance Choreography at the School of Dance, Minzu University of China. Her many accomplishments include founding Y Art Studio, numerous awards, such as being named the Best Young Dancer of China in the Asian Dance Arts Festival in Singapore, acting as artistic directors for multiple companies, and also acting as a lecturer at the School of Dance, Minzu University of China since 2007, one of the top dance schools in China. While being a guest artist at Webster, Xi has worked as an independent choreographer worldwide. In addition to her numerous performance and choreography credits in China and the United States, she is conducting ongoing research on contact improvisation and improvisational choreography with financial support from the Beijing Education Commission.

Zoltan Lantos, a violinist who has forged his own sonic language. He appeared on the Eastern-European jazz scene while studying at Music Academy in his home town, Budapest. Shortly after earning his degree in classical violin, Lantos embarked his musical journey. Drawn to experimental and eastern music, he traveled to India in 1985 to study classical Indian music. In 1994, after nine years of studying, traveling, teaching and performing in India, Lantos returned to Europe. Composing new pieces, he began rediscovering his musical roots and found his own language by blending Hungarian and classical traditions with Eastern music and contemporary Europe jazz. Lantos’ main project since 1999 is the group Mirrorworld - the group's current project, OpenSource, was founded in 2011, is taking a more electronic, loop, and groove direction. The band gave its first concert in November 2012 at MUPA (Palace of Arts) in Budapest. Lantos has been invited to several international Jazz and World music festivals across Europe and several other countries. He received the “Artisjus” prize in 2006 and the “Golden Cross of Merit” medal by the Hungarian Government in 2008. 

 

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