Bringing dance to a new level: spring choreographer’s showcase

Emily Meringolo, Writer

The Spring Choreographer’s Showcase, which showcased over 70 of the University’s dancers and dance students, was held in the Tustin Studio Black Box Theatre on April 4 and 5.

Each performance showcased dancers in pieces choreographed by students of Associate Professor of Dance Er-Dong Hu’s Dance Composition course. In addition to the student work, Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Kelly Knox and Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Dustyn Martincich’s Modern Dance Technique and Jazz Dance Technique classes performed, as well as guest performances by the Bisonettes and the Bison Girls.

“The Choreographer’s Showcase was a success,” Hu said. “We sold out all three shows, and the show itself was breathtaking. We had many creative choreographers this semester that made the show incredibly diverse with a variety of music, movement, and dance styles.”

“The showcase this year was very successful and a pure pleasure to watch and be a part of,” Knox said. “This showcase offered concise choreographed works in a wide range of styles and genres. I loved this annual concert because it feels up-close and personal as the choreographers explore a variety of approaches from narrative to abstraction to personal themes in their lives.”

The theatre was transformed as 24 student-choreographed pieces took the stage, each and every dance uniquely different from the previous one. The collaborative learning process began in January as Hu taught his students the usefulness of repetition, theme, levels, direction changes, and motifs. This was extremely apparent on stage, as each piece utilized these tools and kept the audience engaged.

In preparing for the showcase, choreographers focused on highlighting their dancers’ talent and training, so that the showcase would become a beautiful manifestation of the choreographer’s newly refined choreographic abilities.

“The most rewarding part of the experience is seeing the talents of all the fabulous dancers and student choreographers involved,” Knox said.

“The most rewarding part is seeing my students reflect on their final project for Dance Composition,” Hu said. “For many of my students this is their first time creating a piece, and it is rewarding to see their work come together in the show.”

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