Shut up and dance: Modern dance seniors go out with style

Seniors in the department of modern dance began performances last night for their semester-closing engagement, “…A Little More Action.”

And you thought finals weren’t for another two weeks.

Unlike its somewhat difficult-to-understand first segment, “A Little Less Conversation…,” “…A Little More Action” seems determined to send a clearer message to its audiences.

Revisiting what many school textbooks have glazed over for hundreds of years, choreographer Corrine Penka’s “Illusions for Sale,” picks up where Rage Against the Machine may have left off. The surprise in content is worth waiting for, as the piece’s theme is well served for even the likes of U.S. political prisoner Leonard Peltier.

Senior choreographer, Katie McConkie, partnered with the Virginia Tanner School of Dance for a wonderful piece of patience and togetherness. The 14 children McConkie enlisted for her performance are clad in comfortable pastels, working with five U modern dancers for a brief, yet poignant, celebration of life.

Other enjoyable works come from Matthew Grierson, Hank Sichley and Mike O’Connor throughout the evening’s production.

Additionally, Lorin Hansen has arranged a special piece with fire-dancing called, “Vertigo.” Fear not, U Campus Fire Marshall Mike Halligan has given Hansen the go-ahead.

With Angela Gagliardi and Brandin Steffensen scheduled to close the night, the evening’s only downtime looks to be during intermission.

Find a seat in the Hayes-Christensen Theatre this weekend, and wave a lasting goodbye to these gifted seniors before they enter the realm of professional dance. Demonstrating some of their most interesting work this semester, the senior class has saved their best for last.

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