Showcase Feature

Christina Oddo
Arts & Life Editor

The Bucknell Theatre and Dance Department is proud to present the annual Fall Dance Showcase 2012. A vast range of dance styles will be performed on Harvey M. Powers Theatre stage tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m.

Auditions for the Fall Dance Showcase took place in August, and choreographers have been since busy with creating work for the show. The concert will feature contemporary jazz, modern and ballet, choreographed by students, faculty, alumni and guest artists. The choreographers cannot wait to share their work with the audience.

“We began tech rehearsals on Sunday of this week, working with lighting and sound designers and stage managers to bring the work to life on stage,” Dustyn Martincich, assistant professor of theatre and dance said. “After two dress rehearsals and a preview performance, we are ready to open the show tonight. It’s a long process with a fabulous outcome for our audiences, who get to see the joy and artistry.”

Student choreographers submitted proposals for pieces over the summer. Each student choreographer has taken the Dance Composition class, and through their new works in this fall’s showcase, they are furthering the development of their choreographic skills. Choreographers shared their process through a Facebook group over the course of several months, enabling the students to help and take advice from other choreographers, as well as from the student directors, Leigh Arnold ’13 and Sam Gosnell ’13.

“Every semester is a little different because we have new and growing choreographers with various interests,” Martincich said. “Some pursue musicality, some style, some narrative themes, some simply the love of line, dynamic change and clear technique. That’s what makes the showcase so appealing to so many audiences. It truly has something for everyone.”

The performances will also consist of student group work, including Irish dance, the Bisonettes, tap and dance classes. Also, students from the local Lewisburg Conservatory of Dance are performing a piece choreographed by a University student.

“Some pieces are really intense and hard hitting, while others are upbeat and exciting,” Arnold said. “You can be sure that whatever comes on stage next will be piece to remember.”

There is a pre-show installation piece, too, which was choreographed by Martincich and Joe Meiser, assistant professor of art and art history.

“It’s a real treat for audience members who get their tickets and get to the theatre early,” Martincich said.

In the pre-show installation piece, the dancers and choreographers worked together to create movement phrases based on images, species descriptions of radiolaria or microorganisms, as well as Italo Calvino’s “Aquatic Uncle” and sculptures from the Sculpture I class. These movements were then set in different locations in the Theatre.

“Every night, the audience will see something a little different depending on when they get to the Theatre and where they sit,” Martincich said.

Showcase Directors Arnold and Gosnell look forward to the weekend. Both have worked relentlessly to make this show a success. They have been involved in past showcases as dancers and choreographers. This fall, the directors feel privileged to have had to opportunity to student direct.

“My favorite part of directing was that I was able to work closely with Sam [Gosnell] and the faculty as well still work along side my fellow dancers,” Arnold said. “The passion that we all share for dance is contagious and it is a wonderful environment to work in.”

“Although the process sometimes got overwhelming, as any major production can, everyone involved in the show truly loves to dance and believes in this art form,” Gosnell said. “That definitely made the final turnout worth so much more.”

Directing has proven to be different from Gosnell’s and Arnold’s past experiences in the dance showcases.

“I get to see the choreographers’ visions come to life from the very start,” Arnold said.

The showcase will include many new dancers, as well as dancers who have appeared in past showcases.

“We take pride in how each showcase is new and exciting, and this year is no exception,” Arnold said. “We have many people who have performed or worked with us before participating, but we also have many new people choreographing, dancing and working back stage.”

“This has been one of the most fun things I have done at Bucknell,” said Angel Hernandez ’13.

Hernandez, a dancer in the show, points out the lack of balance in regards to who participates in the showcases.

“It’s sad that not that many guys are involved, especially when there are so many beautiful girls,” Hernandez said.

“Perhaps, my favorite thing about this year is the creativity that the choreographers have brought to the stage that has allowed for many dancers to be cast into roles that they have never had to take on,” Arnold said. “So the excitement of seeing people take on new roles and dance styles makes for some great surprises and a wonderful performance.”

Visit the Campus Box Office and buy tickets now ($10 regular and $5 for students, senior citizens and children) before the shows are sold-out.

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