'Issues of Color: It's More than Black and White'

Nov. 2 dance performance part of BSU 50th anniversary commemoration

How do people of different races interact? What does that say about human social and cultural constructs? Luther College Professor of Dance Jane Hawley attempts to investigate those questions and dive into the human condition through an embodied dialogue performance, "Issues of Color: It's More than Black and White."

The performance is 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Studio One in the Center for the Arts on Luther's campus. Open to the public with no charge for admission, the embodied dialogue is part of the fall 2018 events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Luther's Black Student Union.

"Issues of Color" is funded through The Doris and Ragnvald Ylvisaker Endowment for Faculty Growth Award. Performers and choreographers are alumnae Colleen Oster, class of 2012, and Christie Owens, class of 2016; and current students Abigail Grinager, class of 2020, and Viola Niyizigama, class of 2020.

Curated by Hawley, "Issues of Color" centers on the proximity of racially different people. Featuring two duet dances, each performance will follow the performers' bodily experiences and physical knowing to create different outcomes. A dialogue about the creative processes with the audience and performers will follow the duets.

For more than 16 years, Hawley has worked with dancers in Germany, Mexico and the United States. Using "directives" to develop choreography, she has titled her creative process "directography." She was inspired to use this same process to create "Issues of Color" after a conversation with Christie Owens about developing ways to invite more persons of color into the somatic dance scene.

Hawley's work focuses on exploring movement through concepts or principles rather than steps in order to create dance, as well as contact improvisation and improvisational and somatic practice. She created Luther's Movement Fundamentals curriculum, which focuses on teaching dancers that bodies are sources of movement and that anyone of any age and ability level can make and learn to dance.

The Black Student Union is an organization that was established in the fall of 1968 by a group of students looking for a space where they were able to celebrate their culture, accomplishments and share in their struggles. The yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of this organization formally commenced during homecoming on the weekend of Oct. 26. It will continue the yearlong calendar of lectures, speakers and other events to celebrate BSU's 50th anniversary. More information about these upcoming events is available at https://www.luther.edu/alumni/events/bsu/.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.