Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

This year’s Fall Dance Concert is intimate and original

Coral Ciupak
Viewpoints Editor

Last night, The College of Wooster Dance Company hosted the first of three performances of its annual Fall Dance Concert. This year’s iteration of the concert features eight original performances, each choreographed and performed by Wooster students.

As in previous years, the concert is held in Freedlander Theatre’s four-sided stage specifically designed for such performances, known as the Round. According to the concert’s performers, the setting creates a unique experience for the dancers and their audience.

“Because the concert is performed in the Round, meaning that the audience is seated on the stage surrounding the dancers, it becomes an intimate setting and you feel like part of the dance,” said Meredith Bruch ’18, one of the concert’s choreographers and dancers.

“This is my first ever dance concert at Wooster, so I am excited to see my piece and to dance in the Round,” said Katharine Kurz ’21, this year’s sole first-year performer. “I am used to proscenium shows, so being super close to the audience and [being] able to interact with them will be super cool.”

Those involved in this year’s concert take pride in the variation of the pieces, as well as in the range of experience of their dancers.

“This fall concert is incredibly varied in terms of style of movement and concept,” said Claire Smrekar ’19, one of the event’s co-coordinators, choreographers and dancers. “I am most excited about seeing how all of these diverse pieces interact with one another.”

Expressing similar excitement for the originality of this year’s performances, choreographer and performer Jena Styka ’18 said, “All of the choreographers this year tried to push past the traditional ideas of dance and play with some new and innovative ideas on stage.”

As another one of the students who choreographed and performs in their own piece, Brigitte Galauner ’18 agreed that the creative license involved is uniquely valuable. “Not many people get the opportunity to do something like this, and getting to see the finished product on stage is very rewarding,” she said.

Many of the dancers expressed an additional appreciation for dance as an art form, as well as for the cooperative elements involved in creating a cohesive performance.

“Being able to transfer ideas into movement and seeing your ideas become movement is an awesome process to be a part of,” said Smrekar. “Seeing a group of people come together to make that happen is incredible.”

“Dance is a form of expression,” added Styka. “Each of the choreographers has something to say, something that the audience can take from the piece, and it is important to listen to these messages while they’re relevant.”

The dancers’ and choreographers’ collective passion, originality and talent guarantee a show that can’t be missed.

“Live dance is unique in that it only exists while it is happening,” said Smrekar. “It’s important that people come to the concert not just because it’s a super fun way to spend your Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, but because missing the concert would mean missing eight unique stories that only exist for a moment.”

“Watching dance can stimulate new ways of thinking, of approaching ideas and of human [expression],” added Rachel Lau ’19, one of the show’s lighting designers, co-coordinators, dancers and choreographers. “Not to mention, everyone involved in the production has worked so hard to give the audience a great experience.”

The two remaining shows are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 17 and on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m. While the concert is free to members of the College community, tickets are required for admission and can be reserved at Wooster.edu/tickets.

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