Fresh jams from Justin Timberlake, as well as pieces from Marketa Irglova, and many others, will set the mood of Écarté Dance Theatre's winter dance production at Delaware State University on Saturday night.
Held in DSU's Education and Humanities Theatre, Écarté's show will feature four new works of modern dance and contemporary ballet choreographed by Écarté Artistic Director Judith Engelgau and Ballet Mistress Tricia Massey.
The opening piece featured is "Frequencies," choreographed by Engelgau, and it highlights Écarté's entire company of dancers (approximately 23 of them) set to the music of three Justin Timberlake songs from his new album, "The 20/20 Experience," in: "Let The Groove Get in," "Mirrors" and "Blue Ocean Floor."
In previous dance productions, Engelgau has used tunes by musical acts such as R.E.M. and Guns N' Roses, but it's not often that she uses new music that's currently playing on the radio. However, she's made an exception for R&B star Justin Timberlake's new tunes for Saturday's winter concert.
"I was surprised I liked it," Engelgau said of Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience." "What struck me about it was its rhythmic sense. The rhythms are so wonderful and different in all three of the different songs we're using."
Another phase of the winter show is titled "Grounded," and it's comprised of music by Marketa Irglova ("Last Fall") and Lenny Kravitz ("Fly Away"). Massey, who choreographed the works in this production, says "Grounded" was inspired by her hearing "Fly Away" after she broke an ankle last fall, an injury she's never sustained in her dancing career.
"I heard the acoustic version of Lenny Kravitz's 'Fly Away' and that's what I wanted to do, fly away and dance," Massey said. "That's how my inspiration started for the piece."
In "Grounded," Massey and five other adult dancers will appear as if they're dancing with weights tied to them to convey they're being held down.
"You think we're going to jump in the air, but something will pull us down," Massey said.
Unlike in story ballet, all four of Écarté's pieces will avoid sharing an overarching theme since that's not the goal of Engelgau's dance productions. Her main objective is to create pieces that move audiences in an emotional way.
"Like any kind of piece of visual art, the main thing is you just want the audience to experience it," Engelgau said. "You want it to wash over them and you want them to internalize and feel something. We haven't done our job if it doesn't affect them."
IF YOU GO
WHAT Écarté Dance Theatre's winter concert
Page 2 of 2 - WHEN 7 p.m., Saturday
WHERE Delaware State University (Education and Humanities Theatre), 1200 N. Dupont Highway, Dover
COST $15 for adults; $10 for students and seniors
INFO Visit ecartedance.com or call (302) 270-8124 or call (302) 674-4689