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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Taking it to the next level

By Cressa Perloff

The last hurrah is rapidly approaching. For 11 U modern dance students, four years of undergraduate work and three years of graduate study will come to a close this spring.

To showcase what these third-year graduate students have learned about dance and their own artistic styles, this weekend the modern dance department will present “Moving Forward, Looking Back.”

Since there are so many graduate students presenting, the concert will comprise two programs: Concert A, which will feature works choreographed and/or performed by Jennifer Beaumont, Sara Christensen, Sarah Donohue, Lindsey Drury, Jeff Jacobs and Jennifer Larsen; and Concert B, featuring Carly Allred, Sarah Franco, Halima Hanni, Rosa Vissers and Aaron Wood.

The faculty adviser for the concert is Satu Hummasti, although the graduate students choreographed and perform all works themselves, as well as worked on publicity and tech. The students worked through their choreography process with individual faculty mentors.

Many of the pieces relate directly to the students’ thesis topics. In Donohue’s piece, for example, she examines how imagination and visualizations create movement. Featuring four dancers, her piece is titled, “The Grey Skies are Coming.”

Wood’s piece, “The Making of Me,” was performed earlier in the term when he presented an evening of dance and drama for Pride Week and examines the words we choose to describe ourselves. “I choose the word ‘gay’ to represent my sexual orientation, but this word isn’t my entirety,” Wood said. “I am also defined by other words, like ‘son,’ ‘friend,’ ‘human,’ ‘dancer,’ etc.”

In “but I never really arrived?,” choreographer Vissers said she looks at “how we relate to ourselves and others.” All that we encounter “(keeps) coming and going, arriving and leaving?At times we accept this and everything seems to flow, whereas sometimes we resist and feel stuck,” she said. In her piece, Vissers seeks to “make sense out of the thousands of thoughts, people (and) situations we encounter,” she said.

As “Moving Forward, Looking Back” allows students much freedom in terms of content, the evening does not simply include modern dance on stage.

Christensen’s piece, “Another Amazing Adventure of the Mercenaries Against Calculated Corruption,” addresses “dynamic social themes by intertwining the exciting movement vocabularies of the hip-hop culture and contemporary modern dance,” she said.

Allred’s “Taboo Secrets Love,” is a dance for camera that will be projected onto a screen. Her film “looks at ageism in dance and Western culture,” she said. Her dancers are all more than 60 years old and are “leading teachers, mentors, performers, choreographers and directors in the dance field,” Allred said.

Concert A (Thursday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.) and Concert B (Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.) will be performed at the Marriott Center for Dance. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students, faculty and staff. They can be purchased at the Kingsbury Hall box office, at the doors one hour prior to curtain, online at or by calling 581-7100.

Lennie Mahler

Sarah Franco and Sarah Donohue rehearse in a group project titled, “Another Amazing Adventure of the Mercenaries Against Calculated Corruption” with other modern dance students in the Marriott Center for Dance on Tuesday. This weekend, the modern dance department will showcase “Moving Forward, Looking Back,” a series of programs including pieces by 11 students.

Lennie Mahler

Jeff Jacobs dances in a dress rehearsal of Lindsey Drury’s “An Exorcism of Plastic” in the Marriott Center for Dance on Tuesday.

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