While all U students are busy at this time of year as classes inch closer and closer to finals, many students in the School of Dance’s Modern department are especially so as they prepare for their upcoming show as part of the Performing Dance Company.
Featuring five dances each choreographed by a different artist–Jackie Lopez, Sharee Lane, Daniel Clifton, Satu Hummasti and Eric Handman, all but one of whom are faculty in the School of Dance–the show promises to feature a wide variety of dance.
As the sole outsider, guest choreographer Lopez’ work in particular is sure to stand out. Lopez is the co-founder and artistic director of the Versa Style Dance Company, which performed at the U earlier this semester. Her hip-hop piece “Warriors of Light” is inspired by a quote by Joshua Graham: “I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.”
Other pieces include “Doorway,” choreographed by Lane, a collaboration duo in Clifton’s “Turn Around,” Hummasti’s “Bright Eyes,” and “Alarm Will Sound” from Eric Handman.
The show will feature students from freshmen all the way to grad students, allowing for multiple perspectives.
Luciana Johnson, a senior in the School of Dance’s Modern Department, is one of four dancers performing in Handman’s piece. She explained that students were picked for these dances through an audition process. “So you audition and then the professors choose who they want to work with,” she said. This show marks the second time she has worked directly with Handman in a dance he choreographed. Both times she’s worked with him, she’s noticed that “his process is very collaborative with the dancers. […] He puts a lot of faith in the dancers to create material given his aesthetic,” which has a lot to do with gravity and centrifugal force. “He’s also interested in seeing the kind of aesthetic qualities that each dancer that he brings in produces with their own work,” she added, saying, “it kind of has a feeling of individuality” as a result.
Johnson explained that the Performing Dance Company provides a unique moment for dancers and professors to work together. “Speaking to all the dances in this department in general, the collaboration with professors to create movement, to generate movement is always a big part of PDC,” she said. “It’s kind of a neat opportunity for students to work really closely with the professors that they take classes with every day.”
She described her dance in particular as extremely dynamic. “There’s some beautiful duet work, as well as some quartet work where we’re all together,” she explained.
The Performing Dance Company will be performing November 3 & 10 @ 5:30 pm and November 4, 5, 11 & 12 @ 7:30 pm. U students get in free with their UCard/ArtsPass.
“I think as a college student at the U it’s really important to go support your peers, especially in different departments,” Johnson said in closing. “And it’s definitely a fun one to go to. […] Even if you’re not totally fascinated by the movement, there will be something that [you’ll] like, I’m sure.”