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Dance to take audience inside 'Dreams'

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013

Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2013 00:02

Dance to take audience inside 'Dreams'

George Mattingly | The Houstonian

DREAMING Two students incorporate fabric with partner work to depict another facet of dreams in the thesis concert of “Fragments of a Mind”.

Two dance graduate students will take audiences on a journey through dreams and history as they present their Master Thesis Concert, “It Begins With A Dream” tonight and Friday.

Held in the Performing Arts Center Dance Theatre, the concert will feature the choreography of Kiera R. Amison in “An American Dream”, which tells the story of the struggles and experiences faced by African American people throughout history.

“The sections travel forward in time from the abolition of slavery depicting the challenges and triumphs African Americans faced as well as exploring the emotion of these shared experiences,” Amison said.

The concert will also explore the mind through dreams in “Fragments of a Mind”, choreographed by Laura Harrell. The choreography draws inspiration from psychology and the science of dreams.

One section called “My Nest” uses large projections to depict life-sized playing cards that bring the feelings of seclusion to life on stage.

“I researched Freud and his ideas of free association which is allowing the mind to associate different thoughts to dreams and how they form,” Harrell said. “I also looked into Carl Jung’s work on active imagination and using dreams as therapy. The choreography is my own form of therapeutic release.”

However, putting the concert has not gone without some obstacles.

“I have an intense design and working with walls has definitely been challenging because we had to learn how to incorporate them with the dancers,” Harrell said. “Kiera has more than thirty dancers in her concert, so that becomes a challenge to make sure they’re all on the same page.”

“It Begins With a Dream” represents the culmination of months of work by both students and is one of the last steps in becoming a Master of Fine Arts. Next, Harrell and Amison will complete the writing portion of their thesis and present their research to a committee of faculty members in the dance department.

Despite being nervous, Harrell said the concert represents a rewarding end to a long process.

“I’m nervous but I’m also really excited,” Harrell said. “During my two and a half years in grad school I discovered choreography is my passion. It’s ironic that my show is about dreams and this is my dream come true.”

“It Begins with a Dream” will begin at 8 p.m. on both nights in the PAC and is free for everyone to attend, however tickets are required for entry. For more information call the box office at 936-294-2339.

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