Ann Arbor Dance Works, the University’s own resident professional dance company — comprised of students, faculty and working professionals in conjunction with the Department of Dance — is commemorating the 25 years since its inception by delivering innovative dance ensembles to the Duderstadt Center Video Studio this weekend.

Ann Arbor Dance Works presents 25th Anniversary Season

Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Duderstadt Center Video Studio
Tickets from $10

“We are continuing in our tradition of mounting this wide-ranging program of contemporary dance,” said Jessica Fogel, a professor of dance at the University as well as a founder of Ann Arbor Dance Works. “There are a lot of different choreographers who are each presenting what are called short chamber works, meaning they are about 10 minutes or less with smaller cast.”

Fogel explained that two of the works to be presented are choreographed by featured guest artists Emily Berry and Carolyn Dorfman, both of whom are University alumni from the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and are currently working professionals in the New York metropolitan area.

“Emily’s work is very physical — it has a kind of social message about caring for people one doesn’t know,” Fogel said.

Fogel also explained that Dorfman’s work is inspired by Theresienstadt, the Czech ghetto set up by the Germans to serve as a holding ground for nearly a hundred thousand Jews during the Holocaust.

“(Theresienstadt) was a kind of model camp, in that it was supposed to show to the world that life was OK in these camps, so there were a lot of performances of music and theater, and she tried to capture that sensibility,” Fogel said. “It’s actually about her family to a certain extent — she is the child of Holocaust survivors, and it’s the story of her mother and her mother’s two sisters … It’s a rather moving work.”

In addition to the featured guest choreographers, seven resident choreographers will be presenting their own original works. The dance ensembles are varied, ranging from reworked versions of pieces performed at previous Ann Arbor Dance Works to a presentation of a “video dance,” a work that will be presented completely on a screen.

“It’s going to be really strong dancing by a great gathering of professional choreographers who have been in the business a long time,” Fogel said. “It’s a real chance to see some quality contemporary dance work in an intimate setting.”

“I think if you love dance, there will be a lot to see here.”

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