Dance company to perform at Winter Dance Festival

The West Virginia Wesleyan Department of Dance and Arts Alive! will host the annual Winter Dance Festival this Friday and Saturday in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.

On Friday, the West Virginia Dance Company will perform a concert at 8 p.m. in the Culpepper Auditorium. A variety of workshops and classes will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, followed by an evening concert by festival participants and the WVDC at 8 p.m.

West Virginia Dance Company blends entertaining and thought-provoking works that are known to entertain audiences of all ages. One of the highlights of the concert is the American Masterpiece work by internationally acclaimed choreographer Doug Varone. This piece, “The Bottomland,” captures the spirit and stoicism of generations of Appalachian people. It is a highly imaginative and provocative look at community life in Appalachia, set to the unforgettable country music of Patty Loveless.

Toneta Akers-Toler, founder and managing artistic director, will premiere her own work “Absence Calling,” created in memory of WVDC member Cyan Maroney. Choreographed to the music of “The Dueling Fiddler,” the piece presents a bold fusion of classical training, raw energy and improvisation. Producing artistic director Donald Laney also will premiere his piece “Baroque CoCo” to the music of Hayden and Mozart. This three-section piece explores the many metaphors and flourishes that defined the court dances of Baroque-era Europe.

For festival participants taking the full schedule of workshops, the fee is $35 and a ticket to the evening concert is included. Additional information is available by emailing or calling Nina Scattaregia at 304-473-8449.

Admission is $8 for the general public, $5 for students/senior citizens and free with Wesleyan ID.

This program is sponsored by 88 Restaurant & Lounge.