Last semester, the Fall Dance Concert was certainly held to high standards and undoubtedly surpassed them. Will the Spring Dance Concert, storming the Schaeffer Theater stage starting Friday, April 3rd, do the same? All signs point to yes.
Unlike the Fall Dance Concert, this performance will exclusively consist of student work created in classes such as Dance Composition and Advanced Dance Composition, through independent studies, or for senior theses. Three theses will be presented by seniors Anna Lanoue, Isaiah Rice, and Tomisha Edwards. The show will consist of two different programs to accommodate the large number of pieces being performed.
Mallory Cohen ’17, a double major in Dance and Sociology, has been working on an independent study piece to display in the concert. Her piece is titled “Proximal Zones” and “explores the relationships between the dancers on stage, while still showcasing their individuality and independent characters,” she explained. Aside from presenting her own piece in the show, Cohen will also be performing in works created by other dancers.
Another student choreographer, Sofi Elbadawi ’18, will also be presenting a piece for Dance Compostion. In addition, she will be performing in Edwards’ senior thesis and Claire McGlave’s Advanced Composition piece.
As a first-year student, Elbadawi has been feeling the pressure and nerves throughout her choreographic process. “I have never done anything quite like my dance composition class before, so things are a little challenging. I have big standards to live up to, as all of the dancers in the dance department have made amazing pieces before,” she exclaimed. “As a first year, I have been lucky to have a lot of different mentors throughout this process. Whenever I get stuck or have a concern, there are a number of various places I can turn to for help. I am excited with how my piece has come together, but I am even more excited about how much this process taught me.”
An overwhelmingly and under-appreciated amount of work goes into the creative process of each choreographer and dancer. However, Cohen and Elbadawi both agree that is has ultimately been a positive and exciting experience.
“I have had an overwhelmingly positive experience throughout my entire creative process this semester. My dancers have made rehearsals an invigorating creative space with their willingness to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and try anything in regards to both movement and critical thought about the piece as a whole,” said Cohen.
“I think I can speak for my dancers, as well as for myself, when I say that this process has been a lot of fun, and really allowed us to create our own world of quirky energies and to fully commit to this piece and to dance.”
Elbadawi added, “[m]y rehearsal process has been surprisingly low stress. My cast has been extremely flexible and we always manage to get a lot done in a short amount of time. It is sometimes difficult to find a place to work, but it all comes together in the end. It has been stressful balancing three pieces at once, but I’ve been able to make it work.”
In the end, the tireless efforts of everyone involved in the concert will surely make for a fantastic show worth seeing.
Cohen concluded, “I know that I can expect my dancers to recreate the world we have built together and share the project to which I have been so dedicated in an incredible way. The show as a whole is going to be a lot of fun. It is really different than the typical dance concerts we put on in the best way possible, and will really invite the audience into our playful and creative world of dance that we are excited to share and would love for more people to become a part of.”