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'Bodies Speak: Dance Is Universal Expression' Opens April 11

'Bodies Speak: Dance Is Universal Expression' Opens April 11

Posted: April 9, 2019

Despite living in a world of constant chatter—from in-person meetings to ubiquitous texting to pundits shouting at one another on TV—a quieter form of communication exists. Through dance.

“A universal form of expression, dance celebrates movement as a global and vibrant language,” said Joy Guarino, associate professor and coordinator of dance for Buffalo State’s Theater Department.

Guarino and four other choreographers have funneled that theory into the college’s spring dance performance, Bodies Speak: Dance Is Universal Expression. It opens Thursday, April 11, at 8:00 p.m. in the Warren Enters Theatre in Upton Hall and repeats Friday, April 12, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, April 13, at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The 13 dancers in the Buffalo State Dance Company will perform five contemporary pieces that present dance as a kinesthetic art, a way of knowing, thinking, communicating, translating, and creating.

“By cultivating and abstracting gestures and actions derived from life experiences, we create a conversation between our dancers and strive to connect with the audience,” Guarino said.

The choreographers who join Guarino are adjunct professors of dance Naila Ansari, Michael Lambert, and Melissa VanOsch. Leanne Rinelli, a former Buffalo State dance instructor who currently teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso, returned to work on the spring performance.

Each segment will include an introductory video, created by Carrie Catalano, and the student performers will convey the choreographers’ visions of everything from promoting self-expression to finding metaphors within dance. One choreographer integrates yoga as a path toward harmonious living; another uses American sign language. Guarino’s piece focuses on community building and working toward the greater good.

“I encourage my students to view their dancing as a gift to the community,” said Guarino, who also serves as the faculty coordinator for service-learning. In several of her courses, students visit community centers and use dance as a way to teach children, elderly people, and individuals with special needs.

Overall, Bodies Speak is meant to channel life experiences with all their attendant joys, fears, and hopes into an evening of silent storytelling.

Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for children, seniors, Buffalo State faculty, staff, and alumni, and $8 for Buffalo State students with ID. For tickets, visit the Rockwell Hall Box Office, call (716) 878-3005, or order tickets online.

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