Tutus, crying children, frantic parents and teachers. These are typically the things that come to mind when one thinks of attending a dance show. It is a common misconception that if you’re going to watch a dance performance, you are going to a recital. If you are attending the University Dance Company’s “Progressions” this spring, do not expect to see a regurgitation of someone else’s choreography or students showing what they have learned in classes. You will not be watching a recital; however, you will be attending a dance concert. In concert dance, stories, emotions and concepts are conveyed through the movement of dancers, all while incorporating outside elements such as lighting and sound. Each piece is either a student’s or faculty member’s work of art. UDC’s “Progressions” will open April 11 and run through April 13 with four performances.
The stage crew for “Progressions” is completely student-run, under the direction of returning student stage manager, Katie Coyle. Nearly every piece is choreographed by a student. Kourtney Kukowski’s “Between Dusk and Dawn” offers a glimpse at a gathering that occurs during the deepest hours of the night. “This piece is ominous, intricate and filled with anticipation. You won’t want to look away,” she says. DenNira Whitley’s “Business, Not As Usual” celebrates the joy of dancing with an expeditious, energetic piece. She intends to showcase the talent of her dancers while conveying the idea that hard work can still be fun. Hannah Boland will be debuting her third and final piece for UDC. “Midtown Jive” is an uplifting, musical theater piece – a genre that is not commonly seen in concert dance.
For Hannah’s last time choreographing before graduation, she wanted to create something unlike any piece she composed before. She hopes everyone in the audience will have a fun time watching, and when it is over, they will want to see it again.
These pieces are only a small glimpse at what concert dance can be. After weeks of hard work with auditions and rehearsals, “Progressions” contains the creations of 14 choreographers and more than 65 performers. It will also feature work from faculty members Liz Staruch and Maria Urrutia.
Performances of “Progressions” run April 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 2:00 p.m. Student night will be held Thursday, April 11 with half-priced tickets for $7 available with a student ID.
The concert is held in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theater located inside the Swope Music Building. To purchase tickets, please visit www.wcupa.edu/TheatreDanceTickets or purchase at the door the night of the show. Come out for a wonderful night of dancing, support your peers and get a feel for what concert dance truly is.
Rachel Stoll is a second year student majoring in English with a minor in dance. RS893256@wcupa.edu