Staff Writer

A group of University of Tennessee students will showcase their talents this weekend to help raise money for Hadassah charities.
Members of the UT Dance Company, senior media arts student Amira Inas Haqq and senior painting student Matthew Blondell, will participate in Dance Perspectives, an interdisciplinary dance and art show, at the Pellissippi Performing Arts Center. Performance times are 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday.
"This is a chance for the students to give back to the community and be a part of the dance community in our area," Wendy Gilhula, artistic director of Dance Perspectives, said.
The dance company will perform a piece choreographed by modern dancer Martha Graham titled "Steps in the Street." The company's performance will be one of 10, all performed by different dance companies from the Knoxville area.
Haqq, senior college scholars major specializing in media arts and cultural studies, will present a film she created as her interpretation of creative motivation and learning to fly with inspiration. The film will be projected onto a screen behind the dancers during the performance.
"I got my motivation from the whole idea of how sometimes we don't follow that inspiration that is nagging at us," she said.
Being a part of Saturday's performances is especially important to Haqq because she performed several years ago as a dancer in the Circle Modern Dance company in Dance Perspectives.
"I love dance, and I love film, so I was really excited to get to be a part of it," she said.
Blondell, a junior in painting, said the performances are a good way for up and coming artists to gain some recognition.
He will be creating an original painting onstage during the dance performances of his interpretation of the different dance pieces. Local sculptor Stacey Adam also will be creating an original work onstage. The painting and sculpture will be auctioned off following the dance performances, with half of the proceeds going to Hadassah and half going to the artists.
"This is a great opportunity for students who might not be that well-known to showcase their talents," Blondell said.
Haqq has included some footage of the artists at work in her film.
Tickets for the event are $10 for students and $13.50 for general admission. All the proceeds from ticket sales go to Hadassah, a Zionist women's volunteer organization, to support their medical charity work.
"None of the dancers get any money from doing this," Gilhula said. "They feel honored to be a part of it."
Tickets are on sale at the Dancer's Shoppe on Papermill Drive and Disc Exchange on Kingston Avenue. Gilhula recommends purchasing tickets in advance because past performances of Dance Perspectives have sold out.