After weeks of intensive preparation, deliberate planning and commendable dedication, West Chester University’s University Dance Company (UDC) looks eagerly towards the beginning of November and with that, their upcoming fall dance concert. Titled “Multiplicity,” UDC combines artistic vision and passion in a captivating performance that will grace the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre stage from Nov. 11-12.
A large dance company, UDC is composed of 61 students who will take the stage in styles of dance ranging from contemporary to hip hop to tap. A total of 14 dances will be featured in the performance — produced by both student and guest choreographers — including three solo works by DeYona Archer, Madison Bender and Myah Sarwar.
The UDC Executive Board went through a deliberate process of choosing the title for the show, deciding ultimately on “Multiplicity.” The title testifies to one of the more unique aspects of this semester’s performance, that being its great variation in pieces. “This semester every piece is really different and unique in its own way, and I think it really fits the theme,” says Vice President Tommy Gryga.
A “hidden gem,” as coined by Faculty Director and WCU Dance Professor Gretchen Studlien-Webb, UDC offers one-of-a-kind productions each semester as students conceptualize uniquely intimate stories through dance, and this show is no exception. “I think the exciting thing about our concert is it’s very well-produced… Usually you don’t have this level of lighting and artistry at this level,” shared Studlien-Webb.
The show will experiment with many new elements outside of choreography, including lighting and set pieces. The lighting designer, Jon DeGaetano, who himself is a graduate of WCU’s Theatre and Dance program, has many impressive plans to elevate the dance pieces in their transition from studio to stage. Through development of pieces such as wooden backdrops, lightbulbs, videos, light tubes and more, the concert will be pushing creative boundaries like it never has before.
Mary Lynch, a fourth-year Psychology major who is secretary of UDC, is one of the 11 choreographers for the show. With her piece titled “Auras of Motion,” she looks forward to seeing her artistic conception transition to the stage setting amongst the many other great performances. “My piece… is about this idea of forwardness and momentum that exists within the human body… I can’t wait to see all the diverse layers come together in the theater and for other people to experience it,” said Lynch.
In addition to student choreographed pieces, UDC is also eager to welcome two guest choreographers to the show this fall. William Burden — a graduate of University of the Arts and a dancer with Philadelphia dance company Philadanco — has choreographed a tap performance for the show, and Samuel Antonio Reyes — also a graduate of University of the Arts and current director of his dance company “Sanbrooka Productions” — has crafted a hip-hop production.
Third-year UDC Historian Sara Magrino will be dancing with UDC for her third semester this fall. Grateful for the opportunity to reignite a passion of hers since coming to college, she encourages all to attend, regardless of your experience with dance. “It’s not just a dance show, but multiple complex stories and concepts that shine through upon hitting the stage,” said Magrino.
Opportunities to engage with UDC go beyond only performing in its concerts. The company also offers regular company classes which are free and open to students of all skill levels, and include styles of jazz, contemporary and hip hop. More information on class schedules can be found on instagram @wcu_udc.
“Multiplicity” will be showing in the Madeleine Wing Adler Theatre, located in Swope Music Building and Performing Arts Center, on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.wcupatix.com at rates of $12 for students and $7.
Olivia Schlinkman is a second-year political science major with a minor in Spanish. OS969352@wcupa.edu.