Dance concert celebrates football coming to Kennesaw State University
'Touchdown' debuts Nov. 20 at Howard Logan Stillwell Theatre
KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 5, 2013) — Football and dance aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence (other than homecoming), but both are featured prominently – and work well together – in the upcoming production of “Touchdown” by Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance.
In conjunction with KSU’s Department of Athletics, led by director Vaughn Williams, the Department of Dance will present the dance concert “Touchdown” Nov. 20-23 at 8 p.m. and Nov 23rdat 2 p.m. at the Howard Logan Stillwell Theatre.
Wonder how football and dance came together on the stage? Ivan Pulinkala, department chair and choreographer of the namesake piece, said, “There’s a lot of overlap between athletics and dance: both emphasize kinesthetic training. The announcement of the start of football at KSU presented the perfect opportunity to celebrate our synergies."
Once KSU made the official announcement, Pulinkala met with Williams. “I asked him, ‘Would you be interested?’ And before I could finish my sentence, he said, ‘Great idea!’ seeing the opportunity to partner athletics with an academic degree program at KSU.”
Williams said, “We’re really excited about the collaboration and Touchdown. It’s been awesome for KSU Athletics to partner with the Department of Dance on this project. We anticipate even more of these type of partnerships as KSU grows over the next few years.”
Israeli choreographer Yoram Karmi demonstrates this outgrowth of collaboration between typically disconnected things in his classical dance piece Derivative. Sponsored by the Israeli Consulate, the internationally known choreographer taught students for ten intensive days in early September; Derivative reflects that hard work.
Dance students bring groundbreaking Bulgarian choreographer’s Momchil Mladenov’s piece to life in Con Moto-Mosso. Mladeno began teaching at KSU this fall; he founded the Cultural Bridges Association to expand the repertoire of Bulgarian ballet by exposing his dancers to American ballet.
Professor Stevan Novakovich was inspired by the daring and deadly personal “literature of risk” by Beat poet William S. Burroughs for his piece Cranial Graffiti. New faculty member Christen Weimer lends a feminine touch to the game with her piece Sablon. Expect the whimsical: She refers to a quote by Nietzsche, “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn’t hear the music.”
You’ll hear original music at Touchdown: School of Music professor John Lawless has written an original score for part of the work, that will be played live by the School of Music’s Percussion Ensemble. The performance will feature scenic design by Theatre and Performance Studies’ professor Ming Chen and lighting design by dance resident lighting designer David Tatu.
Patty Poulter, dean of the College of the Arts, said, “Touchdown celebrates both the performing arts and athletics at Kennesaw State. Dr. Pulinkala has done a brilliant job of pulling together these unique departments in a wildly creative way.”
The artistic collaborations and partnerships reflect one of the defining characteristics of the Department of Dance. Pulinkala said, “This concert is a great example – and celebration – of the several partnerships that are the hallmark of the Department of Dance. Demonstrated on stage will be some of our partnerships across campus, across metro Atlanta, and within our international communities.”
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The Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University is the largest dance program in the state of Georgia and a leader in undergraduate dance education in the Southeastern United States. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu/dance.