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CSUEB dance ensembles create two acts around light and movement for May performances


Anthony "Antz" Johnson performs an original work. (Photo: Ben Ailes)

  • April 2, 2012

“Refractions,” a two-part production by the Cal State East Bay dance ensembles, will perform at 8 p.m. May 11 and 12, and at 2 p.m. May 13 at the University Theatre, on the CSUEB Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd.

The works pair a diverse group of students and community members exploring the relationships between light and movement – how shadow, diffusion, scattering, projection, mood, refractions, and more can work together to communicate meaning.

Richard Olmsted, lecturer and CSUEB lighting designer, is working on the show. The two halves will be choreographed and directed by two theatre and dance assistant professors: Nina Haft on the first half, Eric Kupers on the second.

The first act, "Silver Screen Situations," looks at how light -- when bent and shaped -- can become enduring moments of cinema. 

In collaboration with her dancers, Haft has created a series of dances that reinterpret images from classic films such as “Key Largo,” “Tarzan,” the “Wizard of Oz,” and more. Each scene is situated at a different spot on the campus near the theatre building. Audiences will follow this “performance tour” from one scene to the next, choosing their angles of view on each of the six outdoor dances, with the seventh, final one, taking place on the University Theatre stage. Maps will be provided.  

The second act, by Kupers, with costumes by senior theatre and dance major Steven Ennis, is an inclusive and interdisciplinary adaptation of local playwright Brad Guthrie's, "Cooney's View." It tells the story of a hospitalized man unable to convince others that his bed is sliding toward a window and rocks below. 

Thomas Hird, professor and chair of the Theatre and Dance Department, said: “Haft and Kupers choreograph in collaboration with their dancers. Their specialty is exploring how movement can reveal deep meaning in what we otherwise see as trivial or common topics. The title ‘Refractions’ suggests that the dances this year will go beyond movement into the interplay of light on the body. I'm looking forward to something profound and stunning.”

Tickets may be purchased in the $5-15 price range online at:

Further information is available at (510) 885-3118 weekdays. Additional performance information is available onlne at:

CSUEB welcomes persons with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodation upon request. Please notify event sponsor in advance at (510) 885-3118 if accommodation is needed.

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