Pyromania: An evening of classical and contemporary dance


Kennesaw, GA (Nov. 5, 2014) — Following the law of yin and yang, fire and water are…

Georgia (Nov 5, 2014)

Kennesaw, GA (Nov. 5, 2014)  Following the law of yin and yang, fire and water are often combined, but it’s unusual to have fire and dance together. The Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University will present Pyromania Nov. 12-15, at 8 p.m., in the Stillwell Theatre featuring the KSU Dance Company.  

Known for his physically complex choreographic vocabulary, department Chair Ivan Pulinkala’s title piece was inspired by research on the psychology of a pyromaniac. Thus, his choreography uses the subject matter metaphorically to investigate conditions of obsession, addiction and destructiveness that are part of every human experience.

Pyromania is a contemporary work that uses a juxtaposition of images to convey the message that there is a pyromaniac in each of us,” Pulinkala said.

Abstracted elements of fire and smoke provide a visual aesthetic for the work that inhabits both the front and back of the proscenium of the theatre. Lighting designer Rebecca Makus has conceived light elements that the dancers carry and consume during the piece. 

Professor Daniel Gwirtzman’s Volcano finds inspiration from the increasing intersection of technology in our lives.

“The work suggests both the primal, through its ritualistic rhythmic unison, and the futuristic, set to a driving electronic score," Gwirtzman said. "Volcano presents an abstract world that is both pre-language and potentially post-language, a world in which stylized movement is the sole mode of communication.”

The audience will be drawn into the stamina-inducing speed of the dance. Highly virtuosic and challenging, the dance percolates and pops, living up to its explosive name.

Mara Mandradjieff’s piece Refract appears broken, distorted and quirky –– and it’s intentional.

Refract explores the multiplicity of refracted white light, the complexity which inhabits a single entity," Mandradjieff’ said. "The dancers’ deconstruction questions their own embodiment phenomenon as performers and exposes the audience’s participation in that process.”

Audience members may also relate to Israeli dancer and guest artist Ido Tador’s piece Black Morning. Repetiteur Lindsey Archer commented on Tador’s choreography and said, “Israel has experienced periods of war and turmoil for decades. The most recent conflict has resulted in hundreds of casualties. Dealing with the loss of a family member or friend is incredibly difficult. Black Morning aims to capture the struggle to cope with such loss, particularly addressing the experiences of Israeli women who must confront the death of a husband, child or friend.” This work was commissioned in partnership with the Consulate of Israel in Atlanta.

The four young women who perform the piece portray the personal struggles and emotional dissonance that tragedy begets. However, the community they form offers them strength and hope. These ideas are illustrated through the personal narratives that the dancers utter throughout the piece, their relationship to one another and the power and integrity of the movement they embody. The work offers the opportunity to reflect on moments of grief in one’s own life and how people cope and triumph through those experiences.

Triumph and joy are underlying themes for former Atlanta Ballet prima ballerina and professor Christine Welker in her restaging of Swanhilda from Coppelia.

“I wanted the selection to be bright and entertaining for the audience and have the core fundamentals of ballet technique to benefit student growth," Welker said. "I also wanted the students to gain an understanding of working in a unified corps de ballet, but also to have a chance to step out from the corps for a shining moment of their own. My hope is that the piece will not only be a learning experience for the dancers, but that it will also be a pure joy to dance! I hope that the patrons truly enjoy the performance and understand the importance of classical ballet and the preservation of the classics in the dance program at KSU.”

Pulinkala said, “This production showcases an artistic and technical diversity that highlights our commitment to developing multifaceted dance artists and scholars.”

To purchase tickets, visit, or call the box office at 470-578-6650.

About Kennesaw State Department of Dance: The largest dance program in the state of Georgia, the Department of Dance is a leader in undergraduate dance education in the Southeastern United States. Students choose from ballet, modern/contemporary or jazz concentrations, and are taught by regionally and nationally accomplished faculty and guest artists in state-of the-art dance facilities. Students also benefit from partnerships with Atlanta Ballet, gloATL, Dance Canvas, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, and the Rialto Center for the Arts. Learn more at or call 470-578-6614.

About Kennesaw State University:Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit