Campus News

Theatre and Dance opens doors to all in-person performances

Members of the Zodiaque Dance Company rehearse for this weekend's performances. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki


Published March 11, 2022

Kerry Ring.
“We’re looking forward to opening the doors and have people coming in and experiencing dance in person, as live dance performance should be. ”
Kerry Ring, clinical associate professor and artistic director
Zodiaque Dance Company

After presenting a mix of live and streaming productions for the fall semester, the Department of Theatre and Dance offering a more normal season this spring, with students appearing live and in person for all performances, starting this weekend.

The Zodiaque Dance Company, UB’s pre-professional dance company and one of the longest lasting university groups in the country, is back on the stage in the Drama Theatre in the Center for the Arts tonight, with its 47th spring program that includes jazz, tap, modern, afro-fusion and contemporary dance works.

The show is under the co-direction of Kerry Ring, clinical associate professor, and Michael Deeb Weaver, clinical assistant professor.

“We’re very excited to be back in person,” Ring says. “It’s a step toward normalcy and we’re looking forward to opening the doors and have people coming in and experiencing dance in person, as live dance performance should be.”

“Zodiaque 47” opens at 7:30 p.m. in the Drama Theatre. Performances continue at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. (click here for the playbill). Tickets can be purchased online.

“The UB Dance motto is versatility matters. Zodiaque Dance Company embodies versatile styles in our concerts. Everyone has their favorite pieces and develops appreciation for multiple styles,” Ring says.

From left: Kerry Ring, Michael Debb Weaver and Thomas Ralabate provide some instruction to the dancers at Wednesday's rehearsal. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Meanwhile, across campus in the Katharine Cornell Theatre in the Ellicott Complex, “Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry,” part of the Student Directed Series, will also be making its premier at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry,” by Arlene Hutton, is a one-act play directed by Tioga Simpson-Worthington. Sensitive content advisory — the play covers issues of teen sex, lies and gossip, power, secrets, manipulation, sexuality, objectification, shaming and date rape. When the president of the student council throws a house party and photos are posted online, a group of friends gets caught up in a series of shifting events that forces them to question what really happened. Flowing and atmospheric, “Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry” creates a powerful collage that examines the teenage experience.

“Our students, faculty and staff are all ready for in-person audiences,” notes Meredith Conti, acting chair of theatre and dance. “For the past two years, students collaborated to produce inventive theatre and dance performances for remote audiences, and these experiences deepened their art-making skills in important ways.

“But there’s no doubt that we are eager to have audiences back in our performance spaces this spring,” Conti says. “And from Shakespeare’s raucous comedy ‘Twelfth Night’ to the third iteration of our innovative ChoreoLab, our season has something for everyone.”

Ticketing information is available online.

More information about the Department of Theatre and Dance’s full spring season is available online.

In keeping with UB’s updated health and safety guidelines, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required to attend events at UB, and masks are no longer required as well.