From the ground up

By By Cressa Perloff

By Cressa Perloff

It’s been a long, arduous process, and it actually started last spring.

Kendall Rathunde, Caitlin Green and Rachel Lear, current juniors in the U modern dance department, interned last year with the 2005-2006 Student Concert Committee.

Now, they have successfully planned this weekend’s student concert, which showcases modern dance student choreography and dancing.

The first step was to set the dates for the auditions, tech week and concert. A panel of students from all levels of the department adjudicated the auditions, which were held in September. The ultimate decisions on which pieces would be selected, however, rested on the shoulders of the three Student Concert Committee members.

“We look at each individual piece,” Rathunde said. Each is examined based on “whether or not it’s developed” and how “the movement ideas and thematic material?structure the piece,” Rathunde said.

Rathunde, Green and Lear also looked at the concert as a whole to make sure things meshed together and they represented both undergraduate and graduate student choreography, Rathunde said.

Once a piece is accepted, the choreographer is in charge of making sure a faculty member views it, but this is the only significant faculty involvement in the entire process.

The Student Concert Committee is also in charge of other behind-the-scenes work such as public relations (it designed the posters) and lighting.

For the committee members, being on this side of a performance is a different experience, one that broadens their horizons. It’s “an extension of my education here,” Rathunde said. “I want to leave with technical dance education and a sense of history and the body, and this adds to that. It makes me feel like a more well-rounded artist.”

The student concert also offers new learning experiences for the dancers and choreographers involved. Emily Haygeman, a senior whose choreography was selected, is “interested in choreography as a possible career goal,” she said.

Her piece is “inspired by the idea of journeying,” she said. The movement suggests a “personal as well as communal journey.”

“This is a really great opportunity to see all the aspects that go into creating a piece,” Haygeman said. Students “come up with the whole gestalt.”

The U modern dance department’s student concert will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Studio 240 at the Marriott Center for Dance. Tickets are $2 for students and $3 for general admission and can be purchased at the door.

Christopher Peddecord

Jen Elder and Courtney England embrace during rehearsal for Chance Andersen’s “Baggage,” which is part of this weekend’s student dance concert.