Tue. Jun 6th, 2023

This past weekend, University Dance Company delivered another spectacular performance in Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall titled, “Exploring the Spectrum.”Led by faculty advisors Gretchen Studlien-Webb and Elizabeth Staruch and an executive board of six students, dancers both male and female, performed a variety of dances ranging from ballet, hip-hop, modern, and more.

The music was a medley of classical, rap, country, and included one performance that featured no music, but sounds created by the dancers themselves in the form of tap dance, clapping, and the usage of other various everyday items.

During the course of the show, the dancers performed not only on the stage, but also among the crowd as several performances featured them in the aisles. The beginning performance, featuring outfits similar to those of mimes, began with some dancers lying down on the floor, across a grand piano, and in the seats.

Live music was performed during the dance of “Good People” on Saturday’s performances, featuring Nicky Egan as singer and on the piano, and the choreographer of this specific dance, Ashley Harris, as backup vocals.

The second to last performance, titled “A Jackson Montage: Reconstruction,” featured a mixture of songs by Janet and Michael Jackson, such as “Thriller,” “Remember the Time” and “Rhythm Nation.” among others. This performance featured strobe lights and different colored lights for an added effect.

The wide variety of choreographing preferences and talents allowed the audience to be surprised at the beginning of each new dance. The choreographers’ preferences and dance styles could be seen in their individual dances.

Instances of this are displayed in “Prohibition,” choreographed by Jason Stump, who is an avid lover of tap dance, and “Brushstrokes to Ballet,” choreographed by Ashley Corrado, whose speciality is in ballet.

In addition to the dancing abilities, the costume deserves praise as well. The costume design fits perfectly with the songs the dancers were performing, while featuring a wide variety of clothing, colors, and fabrics.

The costume designs that deserve the most recognition are the costumes of the opening performance and during “Brushstrokes to Ballet.” Dancers were clothed in tutus and leotards.

The lighting design was exquisite, with the usage of spotlights and different colored lights. During the dance of “Those Meddling Kids,” the lighting designer made good use of his or her skills in making their white sweatshirts appear to be glowing, which added a terrific addition to this specific dance overall.

University Dance Company recently excelled in the American College Dance Festival while representing West Chester University.

Their dance routine of “Time’s Cruel Joke” by Jillian Glace of 2008 was selected as one of ten pieces to be performed in early March at Penn State University from a selection of 48 different pieces.

The University Dance Company has put togetheranother breathtaking performance, leaving the audience in awe and admiration of the true art and dedication involved in choreography and dance.

For information on how to join University Dance Company, contact Gretchen Studlien-Webb at gstrudlien-webb@wcupa.edu or by calling 610-436-2942.

Jenn Halligan is a second-year student majoring in secondary English education with a minor in Spanish. She can be reached at JH653435@wcupa.edu.

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