Senior dance concert impresses audiences

Rachel Stalker, ‘Doah Staff Writer
February 4, 2015

“Ignite,” the 2015 senior dance concert, took place on Jan. 23, 24 and 25 in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre and showcased the choreography and technique of many senior-level dance students, as well as many other dance students.

The show featured 11 premiere performances, choreographed by the senior Bachelor of Fine Arts students. For the final piece, all senior dancers performed a premiere piece by dance faculty member Tiffanie Carson entitled “Unearthed Fervency.”

The student choreographers included Erin Puskar, Franni Caplan, Kali Matthews, Hilary Trumbauer, Michele Boy, Korrine Cowles, Kaleigh Davis, Nicole Michael, Aubrey Lawrence and Sarah Mawyer.

Junior dance major Joy Chappell, who performed in two pieces in the show, said that they have been rehearsing, beginning in August of last semester, for this concert. Many of these numbers were brainstormed and choreographed at the end of the students’ junior year and at the beginning of last summer.

The inside of the program for “Ignite” has a foreword by dance division chair, Ting-Yu Chen, in which she states the pleasure that she had of watching the students grow and be creative in their art, both in the choreography and in the stage and production management. Chen wrote, “By nature a dance production is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort. Choreographers need their production designers and technical support team to fully realize their creative power.”

In all of the pieces, the audience could sense each individual choreographer’s personal style and creative flair. Each choreographer brought their own artistic talent to the show and made it one of the best ones I have seen here at Shenandoah. In each piece, there was a connection to the audience; it was truly incredible to see the talent, not only from each one of the dancers but from the student choreographers as well.

The final number, “Unearthed Fervency,” featured all 13 senior dance majors. This powerful number began as all the dancers stood under a white cloth, as a fan blew against them, and a spotlight shined on them, revealing their silhouettes. One at a time, each dancer emerged from underneath the cloth, uncovering their flowing costumes. It was very much picturesque and an elegant and appropriate end to show, highlighting the caliber of talent from all those involved in this production.

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