Senior dance concert showcases hard work

Rachel Stalker, ‘Doah Staff Writer
January 29, 2014

'Doah photo by Caroline Madden

‘Doah photo by Caroline Madden

On Jan. 24, 25 and 26, the Shenandoah University Dance Department put on their Senior Dance Concert for the class of 2014 to showcase their talent in their final semester.

The shows were held Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon in Ohrstrom-Byrant Theatre.

Friday night and Saturday afternoon’s shows featured senior solo performances from Elizabeth Baker, Ashanté Green, Harmony Porter and KerryLyn Kercher.

Seniors Marilla Burnham, Miloŝ Crvić and Elaijah Williams performed their solos on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

It was clear that each one of these individuals worked very hard on their choreography and has practiced since the beginning of the fall 2013 semester on their pieces.

In the program from the concert, Dance Division Chair Erica Helm wrote, “The seven Bachelor of Fine Arts choreographers in our graduating class have been working non-stop since August to prepare, produce and present their work for you tonight…It is exciting to see the diversity of perspectives and creative talents in our graduating class.”

The first show set, Friday and Saturday afternoon, had a very serious and vulnerable tenor.

Many of the group numbers, including “Mind Bowing to Heartbeat” and “BARE: Dig” were very interpretive and the dancers exposed themselves for the choreography.

“Mind Bowing to Heartbeat” was instrumental, with spoken verse of the poem  “Photograph” by Andrea Gibson. This dance was interpretive with the words of the poem, making it a very emotional and tear-jerking performance.

“BARE: Dig” was very different from the other group number. This dance was very dark.

It was almost as if everyone on the stage was sick and trying to find some healing, regardless of what their illness was.

The costuming for the entire night was very simple.

No extravagant outfits, even for the solos. It helped for the audience to focus on the dancers themselves, for the audience to not get caught up in flashy costumes, and to focus on the choreography.

It is amazing to see how the students are able to create such beautifully choreographed pieces for their peers.

For all of the dancers to flawlessly perform their peers’ work is amazing to watch; it is encouraging to know that all of the dancers respect their fellow friends and colleagues in their profession.

Dance Division Chair Erica Helm said the following about all the dancers, “I am confident that the dynamic energy of ALL of our young artists will draw you into an imaginative, kinetically exciting world that aptly captures their vitality and expresses both their joys and concerns.

“My applause and appreciation goes out to each and every dancer, as well as to our talented production team at work behind the scenes to bring each artistic creation to life!”

Be sure to make your way to at least one dance concert during your time here at S.U. It will be worth your time.

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