Arguably the most innovative event of the year, the School of Dance presents “Evolve,” a Ballet Student Showcase featuring 15 first time student choreographers and dancers.

Breaking the trend of a predominately male choreographed art, these 15 students and their dancers are making a statement through pioneering hard work, and they are leaving their mark. “This is a very special opportunity to get your work on a stage since none of us are well-known choreographers,” said Molly Cook, a senior and choreographer in this year’s showcase.

It isn’t only choreography. The students are involved with all aspects of the production, including lighting, costumes, design and promotion.

“The theme revolves around the personal evolution of the choreographers as artists, the production process from concept to the stage, and the transformation of dance as it continues to either comment or reflects, on our culture,” said junior, Ashley Chin-Mark, whose choreography will also be featured.

Moriah Henning, a junior and dancer in the showcase, explained the title by saying, “This year’s showcase is titled ‘Evolve,’ because each of the choreographers’ works is about a journey.”

The showcase is an important accomplishment for each dance student involved, in addition to being a great opportunity for every “non-dancer” to get a glimpse into the dance world.

“Students at the U should know that this is a perfect time to first experience dance,” said Cook. “There is a wide range of styles, music, costume and dancers. It’s always changing with 15 separate dances which make it easier to stay involved as an audience member.”

“It is impossible to sit through this 80-minute show and not be mentally and physically moved,” said Chin-Mark. “Audience members will gain new perspectives after watching these bold ideas and daring movements expressed on stage.”

As well as expressing themselves through dance, the students receive the rare insight of viewing the art and design of their fellow dancers.

“My favorite part of the showcase is “listening” to what my fellow students have to “say” through movement.  Watching each choreographer’s piece is like being able to get inside of their mind and the personal messages they share,” said Chin-Mark.

“[I enjoy] getting to work with friends and fellow students in a setting outside the typical ballet classroom,” said Henning.

“Evolve” is a cumulative capstone featuring the best talent our school of dance has to offer.

“I hope [those who come] will fully recognize and appreciate the talent, dedication, and passion of the choreographers, dancers, and production team,” said Chin-Mark.

“We get the opportunity to share our visions and have our own works on the stage. For any show to have 15 world premieres of pieces is quite amazing. We put in so much time and hard work for this to happen,” said Cook.

The show is running Nov. 17 at 5:30 p.m., Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 19 at both 2 and 7:30 p.m. and is free for students with their UCard/ArtsPass. As with every art event on campus, students can receive their ticket free of charge ahead of time at the Kingsbury Hall ticket office.



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