Over four days in early February, Beloit College will host the department of theatre, dance and media studies' annual mainstage dance concert, Chelonia. For the first time since 2010, Chelonia will include a live music component. Chelonia will run Thursday, Feb. 4 to Sunday, Feb.7.
This year's production consists of 11 dances featuring the talents of more than 40 students.
As has been the case in many years, this year's production of Chelonia features the work of a pair of guest artists: this year, Nic Gareiss and Beloit alumnus Ben Law will be contributing. Gareiss was on campus during the end of January working with dance and music students on developing an Irish Step performance for Chelonia. The Irish Times called Gareiss, "the human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being."
Law, an adjunct lecturer at Northeastern Illinois University, was on campus for a residency last fall, working with dance students on developing a piece for Chelonia. Law was recently named one of "Five Chicago Dancers to Watch" by Art Intercepts, a digital arts publication in Chicago. Law regularly performs with Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak and Kate Corby & Dancers.
Of the 11 dances, two have been choreographed by guest artists, three by faculty members, and six by current Beloit students. Two students, Sarah Ellen Miller and Audrey Laviolette, will have their Chelonia choreographed pieces appear at the American College Dance Association's North Central Conference this coming March.
"This year's dances run the gamut from quirky to moving, and beautiful to political," says Chris Johnson, professor of theatre, dance, and media studies. "There are some dances that take social justice issues head on, others that examine human relationships. Some will simply make you smile."
All performances of Chelonia will be in the Neese Theatre of the Neese Performing Arts Center. Performances run Thursday, Feb. 4 to Sunday, Feb. 7. The performance on Sunday, Feb. 7 will be a 2 p.m. matinee. All other performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $4-8.50. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, contact the Beloit College theatre department box office at 608-363-2755. The Neese Performing Arts Center is located at the corner of Prospect and Bushnell Street in Beloit.