The dancers glide, skip and fly across the stage in this semester’s eclectic collection of modern dance performance at the Marriott Center for Dance.

Each piece of the Performing Dance Company’s show features the expressive nature of movement, creating a thrilling viewing experience. These chaotic and exciting dances bring viewers different and provocative sensations open for a wide range of interpretations.

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In four weeks, faculty choreographers Molly Heller, Daniel Clifton, Satu Hummasti, Stephen Koester and guest artist Katie Scherman composed a fantastic display of modern artistry. The six pieces range from four to 18 minutes in length. This performance features modern dance majors, minors and graduate students moving in pieces that explore a variety of themes. Some portray different human connections, such as those between lovers or those within communities. Others examine one’s relationship with oneself. Then there were those that simply explored emotion or sensation expressed in movement.

Sharee Lane, the associate professor and director of the Performing Dance Company, said it’s incredible that the choreographers put together this powerful spectacle in such a short amount of time.

“The art of dance keeps changing. The Modern Dance department keeps up in the 21st century,” Lane said. “Every year, the choreographers get more innovative with technology, lighting and sound.”

Many of these productions are collaborations in spirit with the dancers, Lane said. The dancers take the opportunity to learn more than just technique and skill — they also learn composition and management, evident in the pieces that included improvisations from the dancers themselves.

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These dances used songs from artists such as Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, Debussy, the Balanescu Quartet and other composers from across the spectrum of music genres and eras.

The PDC takes on around 100 dancers every semester, nearly 70 of whom return as veteran participants. These individuals work with the company on outreach projects in the broader community to increase the future success and involvement of modern dance groups, troupes and workshops in high schools. This is part of taking dancing beyond the stage and transforming the art form into a lifestyle.

The Marriott Center for Dance presents the show over two weekends, for a total of five nights (Feb. 19, 20, 26, 27) at 7 p.m. and on Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. For students with a valid UCard, tickets are free. Other people can purchase tickets at tickets.utah.edu, over the phone at 801.581.7100 and at the door.

m.murri@dailyutahchronicle.com

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