main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu



Glancing Back, Dancing Forward

Choreography by Meredith Monk, Xan Burley, Alex Springer, and faculty

with a historical installation by Jessica Fogel

Department of Dance

February 2-5, 2017 • Power Center



As part of the commemorations of U-M’s bicentennial year, Glancing Back, Dancing Forward celebrates the long presence of dance on campus through a fast-paced collage of dance works old and new. Faculty choreographers Melissa Beck, Amy Chavasse, Bill DeYoung, Jean-Claude Biza Sompa, Peter Sparling, Sandra Torijano, Amy West, and Robin Wilson contribute short pieces that acknowledge Michigan’s distinctive dance tradition of experimentation and growth. With music ranging from Stravinsky to Reich to Piazzolla, this collage is a thrilling collaboration of dance styles. Alumni Xan Burley and Alex Springer return to create Spelled Like the Dawn, set to John Luther Adams’s vivid songbirdsongs. In addition to performances on stage, Dance Department chair Jessica Fogel curates a lobby installation chronicling the history of dance at the University.

Highlighting the concert are three excerpts from Quarry by National Medal of Arts recipient Meredith Monk. [Watch parts of the work on her YouTube channel: mmonkhouse.] First produced in 1976 at Brooklyn Academic of Music, Quarry confronts the paradox of human extremes during wartime. The work won a special citation at the Obie Awards that year. “Meredith Monk's strange and beautiful creations are mixtures of music, dance, and theater. Images, both visual and aural, are arranged and paced with masterly theatrical craft to produce works that are strikingly original and hauntingly effective. (John Mueller, Dance Magazine).” This restaging by former company member Paul Langland marks only the second time parts of the dance have been performed since its premier.

Dance poster2017

graphic design by Hammond Designs


Artistic Staff


Artistic Director Peter Sparling
Lighting Designer Mary Cole
Costume Coordinator Suzanne Young
Stage Manager Sara Burgess




main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower