‘We Are the Dancers’ Premieres April 1

The UTM Dance Ensemble will present their spring recital, “We Are the Dancers,” April 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. in the Harriet Fulton Theatre of the Fine Arts Building.

Dance Ensemble student performers include Erin Windham, senior Dance Education major; freshman Annike Franz; Jayla Brown, junior Fine and Performance Arts major; Christy Locke, senior Interdisciplinary Studies major; McKayla Cunningham, sophomore Fine and Performance Arts major; Dedrick Harvey, freshman Fine and Performing Arts major; Annabelle Cormia, junior Computer Science major; Ryan Bateman, music major senior; Kimberly Schwartz and Ciera Fielding, senior Fine and Performance Arts major.

The recital consists of many styles of dance including modern, hip hop, jazz and ballet.

For example, Windham will perform two modern dances. The first was choreographed as “being ugly, with the intention of the ugliness being viewed as beautiful, instead of something hidden.” Her other dance is a fabric piece, in which dancers move with a piece of fabric passed between them to symbolize the struggle of release.

“I tend to focus on the deeper emotions, the stuff that is embedded in someone’s soul,” said Windham.

Each piece is choreographed by students who taught the rest of their class. Preparation for the show began in the first part of this semester.

Additionally, UTM students will be joined by young dancers from Goad’s Stepz Dance Studio in Union City in a piece based on the children’s story, “Babar the Little Elephant.”

Professor of Music, Dr. Elaine Harriss will accompany the number on piano and student Asa Woodward will narrate.

“The collaboration of music feels good,” said McCormink about the piano accompaniment. “Live piano compared to what we’ve been working with, which is a recording, is exciting and I think it’ll be nice…Something live is very genuine and authentic.”

Harriss had the idea after playing a program in the fall on music of composer, Francis Poulenc, who also wrote a score for the book.

“When I first was listening to a recording of this piece I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have that danced?’” said Harriss who pitched the idea to Sarah McCormick, associate professor of dance, who wanted to include children dancers.

Schwartz, who works at Stepz Dance Studio, was approached by McCormick to include her Dance 3 class students and served as choreographic assistant. Nine of her dancers will perform.

“They’ve worked hard and they’re excited for it,” said Swartz, who also danced at UTM when in high school. “I’m excited to give the kids an opportunity like this.”

Tickets cost $15 for the general public, $5 for students and children 12 and under are free.

“I feel like with each show, things gets deeper,” said Windham. “…It’s always different because the dances are never the same and the meanings behind them are never the same.”

 

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