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Patricia Peoples, left, and a group of dance students practice “Peeling Off the Crust” during a lighting rehearsal for the 2008 Movement Dance Lab Show. The dance concert is an annual student-run presentation. This year’s show starts at 7:30 tonight in 134 Putnam Hall. 

Preparing for 'Movement' concert a delicate dance for OU students

This week, Ohio University students can attend a lab that’s not about dissecting; it’s about dancing.

The Movement Dance Lab Show is an annual student-run presentation by The Movement Organization, an association on campus for students interested in performance dance.

Earlyn Whitehead, a junior studying performance and choreography and president of The Movement Organization, said the purpose of the concert is to showcase the students in the organization in a variety of dance genres.

There are 44 students involved in the concert, which runs today and Friday. The preparation for a show such as this one begins months in advance.

The members of The Movement Organization must first present their dance to the executive board of the organization, which then judges the piece. If the piece ranks high enough, it is selected for the concert.

The choreographers then choose dancers to perform their pieces and begin practicing at the start of the quarter — a time frame that many of the choreographers described as the most challenging aspect.

The group meets a few days before the concert to have technical rehearsals, which Whitehead said is his favorite part.

“Being able to see the transformations that occur once the dancers are on the stage with costumes and lighting is exhilarating,” he said.

That transformation was a new experience to some, including Emma Rumberg, a sophomore studying dance.

“It was my first time considering lighting, and I realized even more how lighting can change the feel of a piece as it is part of the environment for the dance,” she said.

Rumberg choreographed a modern dance piece with a “driving energetic quality” that she also performs in along with two other dancers. The concert will feature different genres, including jazz, tap and contemporary.

Many choreographers craft their pieces with a specific vision in mind, including Steven Evans, a junior studying dance and middle-childhood education.

His modern dance piece titled “Fling” describes the story of two people who know each other so well that they can anticipate each other’s movements and thoughts.

Though some pieces might be complex for some audience members, Whitehead said he is sure the audience will leave with a better appreciation of dance, choreography and performance than when they entered the theater.

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