Spring Dance Concert ‘a transcending experience’

The University Dance Program and drama department held their annual Spring Dance Concert Thursday. The program consisted of 12 dances, choreographed in large part by University students themselves. This year’s guest choreographers were Kristin Clotfelter and Katie Faulkner.

Though many of the dancers are pursuing the dance minor, a handful do not study dance at all. The majority of dancers studied dance in high school but still carry a passion for the craft.

The talent and sheer professionalism of the production was impressive. And the lighting made a particularly strong impact on the show’s execution, perfected by stage manager Abby Payne, a third-year College student.

The first piece, “Small Memory,” choreographed by second-year College student Erika Choe ended with a spotlight flooding down on four dancers and quickly shutting off when one dancer snapped her fingers. The move left with a smart sense of finality.

The piece “No Rage” used similar lighting techniques to create silhouettes of the dancers against a playful red background, instantly grabbing the audience’s attention.

Aside from the dancing itself, the music was another noteworthy element of the show. Some performances involved no music at all. Other dances were accompanied by everything from abstract noises to a beautiful piano. Cellist Kevin Davis, an Arts & Sciences graduate student, even composed his own music for the piece “My Claw is Sharp.”

Second-year College student Sage Tanguay choreographed the standout piece “Prompera,” illustrating her high school prom experience from her hilarious perspective. The piece consisted mostly of a long monologue, largely improvised. The choreography told a funny, yet genuine story of a high school girl’s prom experience — elaborated by a gaudy set complete with streamers and disco balls.

Third-year College student Rebecca Galt choreographed another poignant piece: “Hollowed Out.” In the piece, two dancers gave a moving and chilling performance about Parkinson’s disease, an issue Galt has become familiar with through her study of psychology. The piece was incredibly emotional, with dancers relentlessly flinging themselves in strong, repetitive movements. The lighting design in this piece involved clever shadow play, crafting a dark and eerie mood perfectly suited to the piece’s emotional theme.

Dance offers a powerful narrative medium, and the concert was nothing less than transcendental.

Published April 7, 2014 in Arts and Entertainment, tableau

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