December Dance Concert

Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Co-Editor

Coming to the Harvey Powers Theatre on Dec. 2 and 3 is the annual Bucknell Fall Dance Concert. The dancers have been rehearsing seven pieces choreographed by three faculty members, three guest artists and one student every week.

The dance concert would also not be possible without the help of the student lighting team overseen by Heath Hansum and the costume designers under the guidance of Carly Holzwarth.

Students audition to be a part of the Bucknell Dance Company and for the concert are assigned to a piece they will rehearse and dance in. Auditions take place at the beginning of the semester, and rehearsals along with class training are mandatory for all who participate.

Courtney Wolin ’23 was selected to be a student choreographer for the Dance concert this year. She took time to reflect on her experience with the Bucknell Dance Program and as a choreographer.

“These past four years, the dance program at Bucknell has been such a community and home for me on campus,” Wolin said. “This is the first year, since the pandemic, where the department and concert has felt normal, and I think the dancers and friends of dancers can now see how much time we dedicate to our practice.”

Wolin explained that dancers are required to be in rehearsal two hours a week as well as being enrolled in a dance class that meets two times a week.

Aside from rehearsal and class, Wolin explained their other requirements.

“Sunday master class is for the entire dance company to get together and usually learn from a professional, guest choreographer from outside the Bucknell Community. We also participate in extra community engagement, like dance workshops for kids, throughout the semester,” Wolin said. 

She continued,“It really is a space that you have to throw yourself into as a dancer: we are constantly sharing creative ideas and testing out new, difficult, hard tricks. This makes our bond as dancers and faculty grow as I think we can all relate to one another really well.”

With concert pieces typically choreographed by guest artists or Bucknell faculty each year, a student may be chosen to do a piece: this fall it was Wolin. 

“I was incredibly lucky to be chosen as a student choreographer this semester,” Wolin said. “I’ve been on such a creative journey, you might say, this past semester working with unbelievably talented dancers – trying to challenge them while also directing something that looks pleasing to the audience compositionally.” 

She explained that during their sophomore year, all dance minors take the Dance Composition class and learn the different techniques needed to be a choreographer.

Having taken this class, Wolin said, “I have used this training as well as worked with lighting designers and costume designers to help my vision come to life.”

“My piece this semester is called ‘These Experiences,’ which is based on how the different people that come into your life and the different stages of your life shape who you are at each given moment. It has been a somewhat vague and abstract topic to explore, but I am excited to share it with you all at the Bucknell Mainstage Concert coming up,” Wolin added. 

Morgan Hall ’23 had been a part of the dance program since her first year at Bucknell. As an Arts Merit Scholar, she is minoring in dance and through this says she has become extremely involved with the program. Hall was selected as one of the Student Directors for the upcoming fall concert.

Having experience both as a dancer and as a teacher’s assistant, Hall shared her experience being a part of the program. 

“I was really excited to join the Company as a first year because it immediately gave me a community of students across all ages that all shared a similar interest to me. As an underclassman, I felt very lucky to have experienced upperclassmen to look to for advice and inspiration both in and out of the dance studio,” Hall said. 

Hall continued on to share what her experience has been with the fall concert this semester. 

“As student director, I work alongside the Theatre and Dance Faculty to put on our Fall Show,” Hall said. “Being both student directing and dancing in the show, I am able to experience the dance program both as a student and as a TA, which has completely transformed my view of both the program and the company. I am able to be a bridge between students and faculty, informing faculty of the students’ needs and vice versa, which creates a really strong sense of community within the company. I feel very lucky to be a part of the dance program, it has really shaped my experience here at Bucknell and it has been rewarding to serve as student director of BDC this semester. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work come to life in just a couple of weeks.”

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