CSULB dance department presents Requiem and Other Dances

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requiem-other-dances-csulbSubmitted by Megan Clancy
reprinted from the Daily 49er

Over the weekend Cal State Long Beach Martha B. Knoebel Dance Theater presents “Requiem and Other Dances” choreographed by a well-known teacher from Julliard.

Alongside one of the dance department’s professors, Susan McLain, Jacqulyn Buglisi will present her 2001 choreographic work in ballet. Buglisi and McLain worked together with the Martha Graham Company touring around the world, inspiring young students to reach their highest potential and to believe that their spirit is indomitable. Buglisi brings her wisdom and inspiration to the Martha Knoebel Dance Theater for five performances which started Wednesday.

Buglisi’s highly praised work is joined by Keith Johnson’s quartet We Make Way, Lorin Johnson’s new premiere, Shade, Susan McLain’s duet Mirror U and Andrew Vaca’s new jazz work Smash, Clash, and Thrash!, inspired by songs of seminal British punk rock band, The Clash.

“I am very honored to be here on this beautiful campus (CSULB) with these talented young students and my dream is to have inspired them and given them more tools to achieve their full potential,” Buglisi said. “These students have been very committed and dedicated to the work and I am very appreciative to have had been here on campus at this time.”

The choreography for “Requiem” came from Buglisi’s experience witnessing the former World Trade Center Buildings collapse on Sept. 11, 2001. Buglisi explained in a phone interview that the main themes are man’s vulnerabilities and peace. The movement style in “Requiem” grew out of the breath and pulse of the Martha Graham Technique, which Buglisi shaped according to her own styles to incorporate a deep expression of the individual vulnerabilities.

The costumes that will be presented in “Requiem” are made of 10 ft. of layered silk, derived from images seen in the Baroque Period of paintings, such as seen in paintings of Artemesia Gentileski. “I use many images from the realm where angels court graces to realism,” Buglisi said. “I use some images of artist William Blake and Caravaggio which show Jungian symbolism and religion.”

Buglisi has a mission to help bringing different cultures and people closer together by using the universal language of dance, and allow them experience the common songs of humanity. “It can be said that dance has been a reflection of man’s inner landscape,” Buglisi said. “I hope they will recognize themselves, and be moved with images continuing to resonate long after the curtain falls.”

“Requiem and Other Dances” 2009 continues Friday and Saturday (Nov. 20-21) at 8 p.m. with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The theater is located at 1250 Bellflower Boulevard in Long Beach. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $16 for students, seniors, CSULB faculty and staff and DRC members. Call 562 985-7000 for ticket information.

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