Choreography Showcase allows students to display their own visions
Emotion, talent, passion and creativity transformed the Mabel Brown Room stage at this year’s Choreography Showcase.
City sounds filled the ears of the audience while pieces of dramatic music and intricate dancing moved their minds.
The movements of the dancers captured the eyes of those who attended, showing the passion of the choreographers themselves as well. The work of these talented artists was certainly not overlooked.
The Choreography Showcase took place Thursday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m.
Both nights consisted of nine to ten pieces that dance students worked on and composed in a choreography class. The pieces were performed by dancers chosen from around the Keene State College campus.
“They [students] are given choreographic problems to solve or challenges to overcome by creating movement,” Professor of Theatre and Dance, William Seigh, said.
Those out-of-class assignments, he said, are then shown in class and given feedback.
He continued and explained that the course also helps get students fully comfortable with giving and receiving feedback.
Olivia Lynn, a KSC communication major and dancer in the showcase, said she auditioned to be a part of the show because she is taking the class next semester and wanted to gain experience.
Lynn, a junior, added that the choreographers really incorporated the dancers into their works. She explained and said when it came to the song, the dancers could help decide which one would fit the overall theme. She added that it was a little like trial and error.
The trial and error feeling did not last long, Lynn said. She said rehearsals excited her because Lynn as well as the other dancers could display what they had been working on.
“I haven’t performed like this since the beginning of high school,” Lynn said. “The natural feeling of that came back when I got back into dance.”
Alexander Davis, theatre and dance major with a concentration on choreography and performance, was also a member of the class.
The KSC senior choreographed one work for the showcase titled, “Slight Displacement,” which will be performed in a choreography concert in January.
The piece is a quartet with a length of about ten minutes, he noted.
Davis said he had been working on the piece since August, and since school began he has been working with the four dancers two times a week for hour-and-a-half periods of time.
He said he worked in a different manner on this piece than pieces of the past. Previously, Davis said he kept the choreography flexible for a while before setting the movement and the structure of the piece.
“This quartet came from a really organic place,” Davis said. He stated that he began with five, one-minute solos that he had created in a time-crunch atmosphere.
The solos, he continued, were created around his vision and all five gave off similar meanings, fitting in the same movement. He added that these solos came very naturally for him, but he had to work them into the quartet to invent a structure that fit his visionary theme.
“Music gives me a lot of inspiration, but I usually do not dance to songs that I find inspiration from,” Davis said.
He explained he goes for the structure of the song or the essence of a phrase in it to create a number.
Davis said movement and the drive to perform the motions is what creates the best pieces.
Seigh said he considered himself to be a model of feedback for the course, along with being the one to assess what the individuals may need next in their creative process.
He added that he wants to be a big supporter. He continued to say that there are many one-on-one meetings held throughout the week to further his role as a mentor.
“I am very conscious about my own creative process,” Seigh stated. “I need an environment that allows me to take risks, explore new ideas and be able to fail before I succeed. I do my best to make my students available to that.”
Seigh said he treated the course as more of a workshop. He said the students are choreographing all the time, which gives them the opportunity to dance in every class.
He added that the course has a strong focus around craft and how students can do research to make movement.
Haley Erdbrink can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org