No mercy in this cage match

The University Dance Theatre winds up fall semester with a bristling finale

Greg Corradini

Some University dance students will be pirouetting to the music of burning pinecones this weekend. That’s right, burning pinecones.

The sinister mind behind this music is John Cage, a composer whose arrangements don’t appear in dance productions without provoking something.

Cage, also famous for his cactus recordings, has collaborated many times with dance choreographer Merce Cunningham.

Cunningham’s work, with the dance work of renowned choreographers Carl Flink, Tere O’Connor and Hannah Stilwell, will appear in the University Dance Theatre’s showcase, “Dance Revolutions.”

Student dancers have been working directly on the pieces with the choreographers or their assistants during the last semester.

Among the highlights in the production, University senior Ben Rasmussen, who is in three of the pieces, said his favorite was University professor Flink’s “This Bleeding Heart.”

“Carl’s work is just smart,” Rasmussen said. “Because it is approachable. Cunningham’s work is almost intimidating to watch. But Carl’s stuff is just right in your face. At any level, you’ll be able to approach it.”

Rasmussen said all the dancers in “This Bleeding Heart” wear what appear to be full, high-collared dresses.

But what seems like a dress in the real world obviously isn’t in Flink’s.

“As soon as someone starts to move, the dress becomes panels that begin to separate from each other,” Rasmussen said.

Sweat, sweat, sweet.