Rosie Trump, a dance professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, is among the faculty choreographers whose work will be performed in the Spring Dance Concert May 3-5 at the Redfield Proscenium Theatre, 1664 N. Virginia St. The featured guest is San Francisco’s Robert Moses’ Kin dance company. For tickets and information, visit mynevadatickets.com
Tell me about your piece that’ll be in the concert.
My piece is a new work. It’s titled Pantsuited. … The piece originated with this idea of the pantsuit imagery that really was prevalent in the last presidential election. … I have a cast of eight student dancers, all women, and they’re all clad in these red pantsuits. … The beginning of the piece actually starts with a funeral march with the dancers sort of traversing through this experience that gives you this idea that maybe the battle or war is over. … Some of the themes that emerge are female competition. So we literally see the dancers trying to push each other out of one another’s way. We see them running and racing against one another. And the piece is meant to be a bit witty. It’s sort of an ironic humor. … For me, it was really a journey of processing what happened in the last election.
Did you start putting this piece together during the presidential campaign?
Not during. I think, like many of us, we’re still sort of processing what happened and what is still happening. I know there was just a piece in the New York Times. … The main journalist who was covering the election, she just came out with a story processing her experience. So I think, for many of us, it’s like, now that the dust has settled, how do we move forward? How do we take that information that we have and take experiences that are personal and more general, and make art about it? … The piece ends in a kind of light, party way. The dancers have a lot of fun dancing to the Talking Heads song “Girlfriend is Better.” It’s still meant to be a little ironic because the lyrics are just so wonderful. It’s the Talking Heads, you know? And what’s great about the Talking Heads is the lyrics are nonsensical but so wonderful in that way. We end up with—we’re going to choose optimism going forward.
Do you see the piece having a life after the Spring Dance Concert?
I hope so. I think this is the beginning of a larger inquiry. I would love the opportunity to set this work on another set of dancers or maybe continue it with a Part Two at UNR.
How about the rest of the spring concert? What kinds of themes are other dancers exploring?
There’s three faculty works. Our ballet faculty member, Eve Allen Garza, she’s making a piece actually looking back in history. She’s making a piece about women’s suffrage at the turn of the 20th century. … We have Cari Cunningham, who’s also a faculty member, and she’s actually re-set a work from 2016. It’s called Intervertebral. This is a piece that really showcases the spine and the movement of the spine. And then we also had Robert Moses’ Kin set a piece of his repertory on our student dancers. That work is called The Supplicants. It’s this great, large cast piece, where we see a female soloist, and she is the supplicant, so she’s going through a sort of difficult experience, and she’s pleading to the higher power to help her. And then we see this trio of dancers who are stepping in to block her along her journey. … The whole second part of the program is professional company work by Robert Moses’ Kin. … People can just expect beautiful, virtuosic, powerful movement.