GPS contemporary dance company showcases works of student and professional choreographers.
The Terpsichord Spring Concert honors the ongoing legacy of Terpsichord while looking ahead to its growth.
Appropriately titled The Edge and Onward, the show begins with an homage to renowned dancer and choreographer Erick Hawkins (1909-94) and concludes with a piece choreographed by Terpsichord’s retiring Director, Cathie Ault Kasch ’72. In between, dances are set to music ranging from James Bay to the alternative band KALEO.
“The title of our spring concert came from a lot of brainstorming sessions as a group," said Terpsichord President Jillian Tombul '20. "We wanted to honor both Ms. Kasch and the seniors leaving, but also emphasize how Terpsichord will continue onward and grow as a company. We are approaching the edge with our dances and trying to think outside the box and hope to continue doing that for the upcoming years.”
This “journey to the edge” opens with an excerpt from New Moon, a piece originally choreographed by Erick Hawkins in the late 1980s. Guest artist Laura Pettibone Wright, a répétiteur of dances choreographed by Hawkins, was responsible for staging the dance.
Ms. Pettibone has a personal connection to the work as a former dancer for the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. She also teaches Hawkins-based technique classes that reflect her ongoing examination of Hawkins’ pedagogy, including his principles of movement, aesthetic concepts and philosophic foundations.
Another notable performance is “Is It Time?” which was choreographed by Lawrence Jackson. Jackson created this piece specifically for Terpsichord.
“I was inspired by the music and the GPS dancers,” Jackson says. I wanted to create a work with movement vocabulary that challenged the dancers both physically and artistically. The music assisted in helping fulfill this vision, as it was rich with variances in phrasing, rhythm, and texture. Movement was then created to accompany the music and consequently interpreted beautifully by the dancers.”
The concert concludes with Powaqqatsi, a dance choreographed by the Director of Terpsichord, Cathie Ault Kasch ’72, and set to music by Philip Glass. Powaqqatsi is a Hopi neologism meaning “life in transition.” Powaqqatsi was originally a Chattanooga Ballet commission that Kasch has reset in many places over the years.
As always, the Terpsichord spring concert will include a piece choreographed and performed by GPS seniors Meredith Bevill, Jadyn Matthews, Katie Millican, Ruchika Rathi, Zoe Stamey, Jillian Tombul, and Isabelle Torrence. For Ms. Tombul, this final performance will be bittersweet.
“As a senior, this concert means so much to me because Terpsichord contains the most loving and supporting girls I know, and it is going to be so hard to leave them,” she says. “Because I am also president of Terpsichord, I have my solo, which I am both nervous and excited about as one of my last things I get to do with the company.”