More than dance
By Liz McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org, 803-777-2848
Thaddeus Davis has a passion for dance – its study, its practice, its research. He says dance is so important in his life it’s easier to say what he doesn’t like than to pinpoint all the reasons he loves it.
"What dance has done for my life is what makes me love it," he says. "There's nothing else that I could imagine that would have been as incredible of a journey as the one I've had."
The assistant professor in the Theatre and Dance Department in the College of Arts and Sciences credits his craft for getting him where he is today.
"I have a master's degree. I barely graduated high school. I have an undergraduate degree. I barely graduated high school," he says. "But once I found dance, I found a way to focus my attention on one thing at a time because of the discipline and dedication that it takes to be a dancer."
Davis, who also works with USC's professional dance company Wideman-Davis Dance Company, says the only thing he can think to not like about dance is that sometimes it hurts and you want to slow down.
"There's nothing like that feeling of being a part of it, so I can't slow down," he says.
This week, Feb. 13-16, USC's dance department will present a show, "On the Edge: An evening of contemporary dance," featuring original works from Davis and several other prominent names in the dance world.
Tanya Wideman-Davis will premiere an all-female work entitled "SCOPOPHILIC," which she says takes its inspiration from a photo published in the magazine Artforum which caught her imagination.
"I don't even know who the photographer is," she says. "It's an image of eight women in black dress and big, black pompadour hairstyles sitting in chairs in a gravel courtyard. They have very distinct personalities, but their wardrobe is very similar and they have sinister gazes towards the camera."
She says the piece explores the concepts of the female gaze, abstraction and visual culture.
"I feel it's important for me to make work for the students that gives them a sense of empowerment and leads to reflection of their status as women and artists of 2013," she says. "It will not have a concrete storyline, but the work will make you look at the dynamics of women and interpret your own conclusions."
Thaddeus Davis' "IF ONLY I...," a contemporary dance theatre work, rounds out the schedule for the evening. "If Only I..." made its debut last fall in the "Voices of Choreography" concert.
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