By Katie Monigan
Arts & Life Editor
Although the Department of Theatre and Dance staged its Fall Dance Showcase just four weeks ago, there’s plenty of dancing on campus again this week—this time with a twist.
This weekend’s show will be performed by the Bucknell Dance Company (BDC), a group of around 25 students who auditioned and began work for this show in September.
The show features three student-choreographed pieces, three choreographed by faculty members and one choreographed byStephanie Yezek ’08, who is currently dancing professionally in the Washington, D.C. area.
The show’s dances are all conceptually deep and substantial in length—most are six to 10 minutes. The show features three student pieces, which have been developed throughout the semester with the help of members of the dance faculty.
The “twist” to this show is that it actually focuses more on the theater aspect of dance. “We’re fortunate to have professional costume, set and lighting designers for the show. It adds a rich aspect and allows for much more developed, cohesive ideas,” faculty director Kelly Knox said. Each faculty member mentored a student choreographer for the entire process, working with them to create a style and helping to express their ideas more clearly.
“[My piece] explores the false impression that we have solved problems associated with diversity of mind, race, religion, etc.,” Liz Burdick ’12 said of her piece, “Illusion.” With the help of costume designers, she has incorporated bands as both costume and prop for conceptual expression. The dance is split into three considerably different sections that each explore a different side of illusion.
Fellow student choreographers Mikaela Soto ’12 and Kelsey Tangel ’11 created pieces entitled “Fulfill” and “Outwardly Gazing,” respectively. Knox described Soto’s piece as “truly lovely” and described Tangel as “really quite talented.”
Not surprisingly, the students are also incredibly thankful for the opportunity they have been given by choreographing for this show. “It was unbelievable that at 21 years old I was able to choreograph my own work on such talented dancers, with a lighting design team, costume designer and three dedicated professors to help support me every stage of the way,” Tangel said.
In addition to the student pieces, each of the three dance faculty members—Knox, Er-Dong Hu and Dustyn Martincich—have choreographed pieces of their own. Hu’s piece should be noted for its set— elaborate and custom-made to “frame” dancers for his family portrait-themed dance.
The dancers themselves have for the most part rehearsed weekly for each dance. Each dance generally has five to eight performers, and there are seven dances, so there is considerable overlap within the 25-dancer company. Tangel, a four-year company member, said it is a “truly amazing program” and that it was “avenue for self discovery” during her time at the University. She considers her fellow dancers and the dance faculty her family away from home and is very thankful for what the program has offered her.
The show has required an immense amount of time and effort, but all involved have no regrets. “Choreographing a main-stage piece has been super challenging, with a lot of in and out of the studio work. My dancers are stunningly beautiful and have worked so hard. They’re always willing to try anything I throw their way; they’ve made this complex process an absolute joy, and the faculty have offered unrelenting support, guidance and creativity every step of the way,” Soto said.
The BDC performs this Friday and Saturday at 6 and 8 p.m. in Harvey Powers Theatre. Tickets are available for purchase at the door.