The spring semester is in full swing and dance students are working hard to prepare the 6th Annual Dance Minor Concert. Admission is free, and the concert will take place Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. as well as Monday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Carver Hall. Many hours of rehearsals and meticulous attention to detail will all come together to form a successful and entertaining show.
The Dance Department offers two classes that students can contribute their talents to the concert. Repertory and Ensemble are similar because the end result both produces six to 10 minute dances to be performed in April. How the dances are formed, however, are different.
In Repertory, the group learns two pieces choreographed by Professor Julie Petry. Petry helps the dancers grow technically as well as strengthen performance abilities. Every choreographer has his or her own process of creating a dance. Petry describes hers as the following:
“I’m thinking about the audience. I’m thinking about myself artistically and I’m thinking about student needs. Then, after I’ve reflected on that I look for either inspirational sources, music or stories I see in the news. I might find a poem. I start looking for things that inspire me and decide where the needs are going to meet inspirational sources and move from there.”
Ensemble, another class involved in the concert, is choreographed entirely by the students. In the beginning of the semester, each student decides to take on the role of being a performer or a choreographer. Students learn team building and leadership skills while improving their technique and performance capabilities. Each group creates rehearsal times based on the individual availability of the students. Throughout the semester, the students gather during class time to show the professor, Julie Petry, as well as fellow students what they have accomplished so far. This is where the dancers receive constructive criticism to help reach the groups maximum capabilities. The class also strives to bring inspiration to each other by dedicating one day to bringing in inspirational objects. The majority of the dancers are cast as performers while four students are choreographers.
To make the concert its best, the dance department teams with the theater department. Costuming, lighting, stage-managing, and sound all are produced by the theater department. The two work very closely to ensure every detail is prepared for the April concert. At the beginning of the semester, costume designers meet with choreographers to collaborate ideas. The choreographers and dancers construct and execute the pieces while the theater department enhances the entire experience of the concert.
The dance and theater department partnership is an aspect of the concert that Jordan Gulliver, a performer, believes takes everything to the next level. Gulliver said, “I feel like the dance minor concert is very professional since we’re working with the theater department. It is a great opportunity for us.”
When audiences see the show, they will see modern, contemporary, ballet, and theatrical dances. The dancers hope to inspire the audience to find a piece of their own life within the story being told.
Viewers are meant to walk away questioning what they just saw as well as reflecting on their own personal stories. It is a performance you will not want to miss.
Dance minor students rehearsing for the 6th Annual Dance Minor Concert. From left to right: Andrea Daly, Carlos Santiago, Casey Liberatore, and Maria Iacopelli.