This year, for the first time, the Dance Department has opened the annual Senior Choreographers Concert to juniors, in order to provide them with an opportunity earlier in their college careers to develop their interest and skill with dance composition (beyond informal showings). The new, Senior/Junior Choreographers Concert will take place Thursday, April 1, and Friday, April 2 in the Winn-Seeley Theater at 8 p.m.
This venue allows students to display their academic work in a formal concert. Michelle Ikle, assistant professor of dance, is the faculty adviser for this year’s concert, which features new dances by seniors Gabrielle Brigida, Lauren Budd, Meghan Crump, Bethany Fagan, Lila Feldman, Caitlyn Schrader and Kimberly Tremlett. They are joined by juniors Kathryn Bowering and Nichole Geary. This year’s concert features 12 new works which Ikle describes as “thoughtful and intelligently crafted.”
Only declared junior and senior dance majors and minors who have completed coursework in dance composition are eligible to propose work for the Senior/Junior Choreographers Concert. Once the proposals are approved, student choreographers begin to craft their pieces. There are two showings of work in progress, which are adjudicated by dance faculty and two outside reviewers. Only pieces which are compositionally strong are chosen for the concert. The process is comparable to what is expected of professionals who work with collaborative regional companies or for those who may end up pursuing graduate degrees where they are expected to contribute to, or create their own, Master of Fine Arts thesis concert.
This year’s program features contemporary works, some of which include live music and original prose– written and performed by students. There are six solos, five group works, and one duet. The pieces range from light and playful to potent expressions of emotion. Titles include: “Neverland,” “One Step Ahead of the Blues,” “Send-off,” “The pendulum swing of balance can be a dangerous pattern,” “Whispers of the Past,” “11:11,” ” A Government Expense,” “Caught,” “TBA,” “Lost Voices” and “Realize.”
“I have had the pleasure of advising these students through the process of proposing their work,” says Ikle. “I am thoroughly impressed and proud of the quality of this concert. Without receiving any course credit, these women have developed their ideas into well-crafted compositions. They have thoughtfully and intelligently coached their cast members and even assisted with concert production tasks.”
Mark Wenderlich, designer/technical director for the Dance Department, designed the concert lighting, and other Dance Department faculty members have provided artistic feedback to the student choreographers along the way.
This event is sponsored by the HWS Dance Department. Admission is free.