UA dance students take the stage for end of year performance

Ed Flores | The Daily Wildcat The UA School of Dance members perform their dance routine at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater on April 20th during the Spring Collection.

At the Edge - Student Spotlight, a showcase put together by the UA School of Dance, featured thirteen new works created by members of the UA Dance Ensemble and aimed to display their individuality and voices.

Candice Barth and Gregory Taylor performed their duet, “Dark Mirror in Deep Waters,” amongst other students and alumni durimng the showcase. 

The duet was created with no intention to have a targeted audience or specific message, but it was meant to be a way for the individual to involve themselves and develop a personal connection to the art form. 

The dance was co-created and choreographed by Barth, an MFA graduate student, and Taylor, a BFA undergraduate student. The movement in the piece was modeled in part after the Hail Mary prayer and the “Dark Night of the Soul” by St. John of the Cross.

The UA School of Dance members perform their dance routine at the Stevie Eller Dance Theater on April 20th during the Spring Collection.

“A lot of the intellectual content for the piece came from the poem and the music,” Taylor said, speaking about the influences for the movement in the duet. 

Taylor said the improvisations in the piece are inspired by motifs and themes in the movements that they wanted to highlight.

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“You want to deal with images and things that are universal and beautiful so that people bring themselves to the piece and bring whatever their ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ is,” Barth said. 

The music for the dance was inspired by composer Richard Dubra’s version of Ave Maria. 

“First, you take the music and plot it out and interpret each phrase and ask, ‘How can I attach movement to this phrase?’” Taylor said. “Choreographing a piece is like, you plant a seed in your mind and it wants to grow and begins to go in all different directions, and so the poem and the music helped guide us.” 

The varied interpretations of the piece all connected to each person in a unique way, and it was clear the dancers were connected to the movement in their own way, as well, according to Taylor. Images of Jesus carrying the cross, as well as other religious images, were presented in the movement and improvisation. 

Both dancers expressed their passion in their choreography, as well as the impact it would have on the audience in developing a unique connection to the movement. “Dark Mirror in Deep Waters” was intended to stand out from other works presented at the showcase. 

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“During her undergraduate career here at the UA, [Candice] was virtually the ‘muse’ of every faculty choreographer and her performance roster included works over all three genres in our program,” said Melissa Lowe, a professor and director of advising for the School of Dance. 

Barth brings her professional attitude and experience to the front and center as she steps once again into the UA Dance performance season, according to Lowe. She also mentioned that Taylor is a “tremendous addition” to the UA Dance program, setting a high standard with his professionalism and maturity. 

Barth and Taylor have been invited to perform the duet at the College of Fine Arts commencement ceremony at Centennial Hall. 

“We are thrilled to be invited, and it is such an honor to represent the College of Fine Arts and the School of Dance,” Barth said. 

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