Featuring the original choreography of eight HWS dance majors and minors, the Dance Department presented two showings of this spring’s Junior/Senior Choreographers’ Concert, “Identities,” in Deming Theatre of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2.
“The concert is a lovely collaboration between the choreographers and performers,” said Associate Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier. “Audience members will be able to enjoy the diverse choreography and artistic themes explored throughout the concert. There is also live music scattered throughout the concert: vocalists, a pianist and an entire band will perform on stage in three of the pieces.”
The students presenting their original work included: Ingrid Dehler-Seter ’16, Morgan Drake ’16, Chiara Favaloro ’16, Molly Naef ’16, Elizabeth Strano ’16, Hannah Lippincott ’17, Katerina Núñez ’17 and Tanina Urbanski ’17. The show featured a combination of solos, duets, trios and group pieces, all performed by HWS students. For Dehler-Seter, Drake and Strano, this performance was evaluated as part of their senior seminar in dance.
Eligible dance majors and minors were invited to propose their choreographic research projects for the concert. Under the mentorship of Dance Department faculty and a regional choreographer, students undertake the process of choreographing their original work.
The first senior choreographers’ concert premiered in 1996 when dance major Jeanne Schickler Compisi ’96 produced a solo concert. In 2010, the department opened the annual show to juniors and it is now a platform for declared junior and senior dance majors and minors who have taken classes in dance composition to perform their work in a formal setting.
This year’s pieces were especially personal to the choreographers, which inspired the name of the show.
For Favaloro, the creative process has been a therapeutic outlet. “My choreographic process has required a great deal of reflection on my past as well as predictions and hopes for my future,” she said. “I feel a lot of mixed emotions about leaving HWS, but I’ve been able to process these emotions through dance.”
Only dances deemed compositionally strong were included in the concert. Students must have proposals approved in the fall semester and there are two showings of works in progress. The first showing allows the choreographers to receive critiques from department faculty in the early phases. An outside reviewer adjudicates the second showing, at which point dances must be finished.