The University of New Mexico Department of Theatre and Dance hosts Now/Next/Dance, a showcase of original choreography by student choreographers of the UNM dance program, presented for several performances in the Elizabeth Waters Center for Dance at Carlisle Gym on UNM’s Main Campus through Oct. 25.

Now/Next/Dance features work including Pomp Politicos and Tiny Cowgirl, a group piece and solo choreographed by Michelle Kassmann. Inspired by the recent presidential election debates, Pomp Politicos humorously investigates political gesture and body language, with an interest in vaudeville and cartoons.           

Fiona-Maria Featherston will perform a solo called Fingerprints––a piece that explores anxiety in everyday life. Based on recorded interviews with 14 individuals about their experiences with anxiety, Featherston considers how anxiety is like a fingerprint; they all have one, but it is unique to each.           

Iron Marionette is a solo choreographed and performed by Santana Ávila. It considers the inability of escape and inevitability of subjugation of prisoners, machines, and beasts of burden.

Now/Next/Dance will also feature two duets: Thrum, choreographed and performed by Sonia Engman and Elysia Pope, and Cataclysm, choreographed and performed by Mariah Baker and Kellie Walsh. Thrum explores the masculine, the feminine, and the concept of gender fluidity, while Cataclysm is a duet that experiments with contact improvisation, playing with how a gesture can create a larger movement.           

The concert will also showcase two flamenco choreographies. David Bradford has staged Pedro’s Tangos, a work set on the advanced flamenco students by Pedro Córdoba during his guest residency in the program in spring, 2015, which takes further inspiration from the flamenco song-form, Tangos del Titi.

Nevarez Encinias, a first-year MFA student, will perform a traditional Alegrías, originally choreographed for the flamenco tablao setting, but adapted in these performances for the stage. This solo is traditionally structured and thus includes sections of improvisation.

Now/Next/Dance utilizes students in a range of professional areas as choreographers, dancers, musicians, lighting designers, house managers, costumers, and public relations. These productions have been active since 1975, with performances each semester bringing us to our 40th anniversary.

Performances of Now/Next/Dance are set for Oct.  16, 17, 22, 23, and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. in the Elizabeth Waters Center for Dance at Carlisle Gym on UNM’s main campus. Ticket Prices are $12 General, $10 Faculty & Seniors, $8 Staff & Students and are available at all UNM ticket offices located at the UNM Bookstore, Central and Cornell, or the Arena (The Pit), University and Avenida Cesar Chavez, by calling (505) 925-5858, or online at

For more information, call the theatre and dance office at (505) 277-4332 or online at