Choreographer's Showcase Preview

By Laura Crowley

Arts & Life Editor

Each semester, the Choreographer’s Showcase displays the efforts of a 200-level Dance Composition class required for dance minors. This year, the Showcase is expected to attract sizeable crowds to view its 25 separate choreographed pieces that display “the final culmination of their acquired skills and understanding of dance as an art form,” student director Leigh Bryant ’11 said.

Bryant said she and co-director Abigail Mason ’11 “have worked together for three semesters now on the Showcases” and are “excited to be ending [their] senior years with this event through the dance program.”

This semester, the Dance Composition class was co-taught by professor and director of dance Er-Dong Hu and Visiting Assistant Professor Kristy Kuhn and met twice a week to work on theory, composition and improvisational work, Bryant said.

Allowing students to choreograph their own pieces opened new doors for the students. One such student choreographer, Samantha Gosnell ’13, had never choreographed her own piece. “It was really interesting to see my style of dance on other dancers … [since] I never really knew that I had a style until people came up to me and said that they knew it was my piece right away,” she said. Through choreographing her own piece, she realized her “power to influence people and to create something out of [her] own inspiration,” she said.

Another student choreographer, Leigh Arnold ’13, realized the difficulty involved in getting the messages of her dance across to an audience.

“I knew what I wanted,” she said, “so I then had to focus on how to communicate that to the people watching the piece.”

Given the 25 pieces and 70 people involved in the production, Bryant is “proud of everyone’s collaborative efforts this semester” that enabled the group to “find enough space to rehearse and enough energy to get us to the end,” she said. While she admits that the production was “daunting” at times, she is proud that the showcase company was able to succeed by staying positive and supporting each other.

Dancer Patty Meegan ’12 felt this support in the “truly special” relationships between choreographers and dancers.  “[I am] thankful to be a part of this group that is constantly sharing support, friendship and memories through the art of dance,” she said.

For the production, students were allowed to focus on whatever genre of dance they chose and as a result, the genres include pointe, jazz, modern and hip-hop. By showcasing a number of dances, Bryant believes that the performance will display a “diversity of talents” and attract an equally diverse crowd.

With creative freedoms, Mason was able to choreograph a dance exploring the “tension between staying young and growing up” in her piece called “These are Hard Times for Dreamers.”

Performances will be held tonight, Friday April 15 at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Tustin Black Box Studio Theater. Tickets will be sold at the door if seating remains available. Tickets can be guaranteed ahead of time if bought from the Elaine Langone Center box office, the Weis Center for the Performing Arts box office, the downtown bookstore or online.

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