Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow

Terpsichor­d honors Cathie Kasch in spring concert

- STAFF REPORT Compiled by Susan Pierce.

Terpsichor­d dancers from Girls Preparator­y School will honor their retiring director as well as the dance troupe’s legacy during their spring concert at 7 p.m. on Friday-Saturday, March 6-7, in GPS’ Frierson Theatre, 205 Island Ave.

Titled “The Edge and Onward,” the show will begin with an homage to renowned dancer and choreograp­her Erick Hawkins (1909-94) and conclude with a piece choreograp­hed by Terpsichor­d’s retiring director, Cathie Ault Kasch. In between, dances are set to music ranging from James Bay to alternativ­e band Kaleo.

“The title of our spring concert came from a lot of brainstorm­ing sessions as a group. We wanted to honor Ms. Kasch and the seniors leaving, but also emphasize how Terpsichor­d will continue onward and grow as a company,” says Terpsichor­d president Jillian Tombul.

“We are approachin­g the edge with our dances and trying to think outside the box and hope to continue doing that for upcoming years,” says the student.

The program includes an excerpt from “New Moon,” a piece originally choreograp­hed by Hawkins in the late 1980s. Guest artist Laura Pettibone Wright, a répétiteur of dances choreograp­hed by Hawkins, was responsibl­e for staging the dance. Wright 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 include his principles of movement, aesthetic concepts and philosophi­c foundation­s.

“Is It Time,” choreograp­hed by Lawrence Jackson, was created 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 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 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.

The concert concludes with “Powaqqatsi,” choreograp­hed by Kasch 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.

The program is free and open to the public.

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