Performance combines modern dance, fundraising for charity

By By Sofia Strempek

By Sofia Strempek

Dance is often a selfish art form8212;the purpose of movement as merely movement itself. Efren Corado, a second-year graduate student in the department of modern dance at the U defies this selfish tendency in an exciting and charitable way, by merging dance and community involvement. Corado is the director of D-O-S, a performance that occurred last week. D-O-S aimed to raise awareness and funds for Rocky Mountain Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer, a nonprofit organization that provides emotional and educational support for children who have cancer and their families.

In the mind of Corado, dance and community interweave seamlessly. The beauty of movement has the ability to affect the heart of the audience, and the audience has the ability to shape society. Corado’s past projects were daring explorations of social issues, including loneliness and sexuality, that provoked conversations on taboo subjects. Corado said that by using art as a medium for discussion, “underrepresented communities are able to voice their struggles and desire for change.”

D-O-S utilized the talents of previous and current U dancers, as well as notable professional artists, to raise awareness about cancer within the Salt Lake area. Elizabeth Stich and Erica Womack, graduate students within the dance department, choreographed memorable duets.

Stich’s piece swept and circled easily across the stage. Womack’s piece studied the intricacies of relationships through movement. Strong physical contact between the performers effectively suggested different levels of emotional understanding.

The most underwhelming pieces in D-O-S were those choreographed by guest artists Cadence Whittier and Missy Pfohl. The movement was stagnant and relied heavily on props and pantomime, undermining the dance’s ability to use metaphor to reveal purpose.

Undergraduates and seasoned professionals merged in D-O-S to use their talent not just as art for art’s sake, but also art for the sake of others. Corado has devised a way to utilize the artistic talents of U students and other dancers to promote public outreach and raise money for Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer. With financial help from the College of Fine Arts and the department of modern dance, the performance8212;sometimes amusing, always alluring8212;was presented against the background of helping others in the community.

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