Rooted Forces

Event Date(s)
Ticket Price
ADULT: $15.00
STUDENT: $10.00
Poster Image

UK Department of Theatre + Dance presents
Rooted Forces
Guignol Theatre

The annual dance concert, Rooted Forces, features new dances by faculty, guest artists, and student work. Aligned with UK as a leading research university, the choreography is rooted in inquiry, exploration, risk-taking, and creativity. Through an extraordinary breadth of multi-faceted perspectives and creative processes, the concert is an eclectic mix of modern and contemporary dance.

About the works

"Blueprints," a new work by UK Dance faculty member Laura Neese, in collaboration with the dancers, explores how embodied awareness of the living architecture of the human body informs how we move in the world and engage in community. The collaborators ask: Who are we? Of what are we made? What power exists for expression and connection within our very structures? The work will be set to the Human Harmonic, a sound score by Josh Jevons and University of Colorado Hospital that translates data from the human body into sound.

Kathy Luo, Visiting Lecturer of Dance, has recently moved to Kentucky from Arizona where she earned her M.F.A. in Dance and Teaching Pedagogy Certificate. Luo has been working with the UK students on a new dance project “Unspoken Dialogue”, which is situated in her immersive dance research to create emotional and physical proximity that challenges traditional theater settings by “breaking the fourth wall”. “Unspoken Dialogue” is inspired by chess pieces and their essences of risk-taking, ambition, confrontation, and intrinsic strength between opponents. The dancers will be dancing around the audience seats in the house before transitioning to the stage to create an interactive and engaging theatrical atmosphere and grab spectators’ attention emotionally, kinesthetically, and cognitively. The work was choreographed by Luo in collaboration with the dancers.

“I am thrilled to bring my artistic endeavors to the UK students and further extend my passion towards immersive dance and site-specific productions” Luo said. The project seeks to evoke a wide range of audience participation to honor our diverse social identities that provoke critical and thoughtful discourse and bring people together to initiate creative ownership.

Student choreographer Anna Benton is unsettled by the societal stigma surrounding anxiety, particularly regarding the assumption that victims of anxiety disorders can “just work through it.” As a young person learning to live with anxiety disorders, Benton seeks to debunk this assumption with her art. “My Head Lies” aims to illustrate the manifestation of anxiety’s debilitating nature in daily life, along with deconstructing the typically superficial, one-dimensional depiction of mental health in concert dance culture. Through inventive movement and a busy stage accented with frantic moments of unity, this work creates an authentic atmosphere of unrest and discomfort from a firsthand perspective. Prompted to generate their expressions within the live performance, the dancers embody spiraling thought patterns and excessive entropy. Instead of attempting to describe anxiety’s vast number of unique symptoms in words, “My Head Lies” channels anxious energies while exploring the diversity of anxiety — what it looks like, how it feels, and how no two people with anxiety are the same. Benton’s choreography will represent UK's student choreography at the American College Dance Association.

Theresa Bautista, an Instructor with the UK Department of Theatre and Dance reimagines her 2013 work “Layers…and what’s in between” for the Rooted Forces Dance Concert. This light-hearted piece for six dancers looks at what we layer, how we layer, and what’s in between the layers. Utilizing clothing as a means to explore our patterns and habits, as well as our relationships with a partner, the movement vocabulary investigates ideas of over, under, around and through.

Guest artists Russell Lepley and Fill Pellachi are queer dance artists who co-founded Flux + Flow Dance and Movement Center in Columbus, OH to create an inclusive, joyful space for dance. This space - and the community that has grown around it - is an extension of their values which are grounded in the conviction that all dancing bodies are beautiful regardless of age, race, size, gender expression, and dis/ability.

“Lividly .2” originally premiered in 2022 as a collaboration between FluxFlow Dance Project and Counterfeit Madison and was recreated through the lens of 14 performers from the UK Dance Program for the Rooted Forces Dance Concert. The work explores the queer experience using dance, theater, and the creative process. The performance will explore queer shame - its bruises, furies, and blueness - but moves progressively, through connection, humor and resilience, toward a triumphant sense of self love and belonging to a community of people with their own versions of the same experience. What shame do we share? What can we learn from shame we don’t share? Can performing shame work towards transforming and transcending it?

Reserved Seating. There will be a talk-back after Friday night's performance in the Guignol Theatre with the Choreographers, Dancers, and Creative Team.

Created 08/11/2022
Last Updated 01/12/2023