Seniors from the Ohio University School of Dance are inviting audiences to save the last dance for them.
This weekend, six seniors from the School of Dance will present original works in the school’s Spring Senior Dance Concert.
The annual concert allows seniors to present their choreography as part of their capstone project, a final project that finishes out their undergraduate degree.
Though the seniors each created the theme and choreography for their dances, many selected other students to perform their works.
Some seniors, such as Megan Lee Nicklos, opted to create performances as well as perform another.
“It’s really gratifying as a performer to hear your audience’s reactions,” Nicklos said. “Since our stage is so close to the audience, I can really hear people’s reactions as I perform. I also hear them as an audience member watching my own piece. It’s nice to hear positive reactions about something you’ve worked so hard on.”
This year, the dances range from the quirky and comical performance by Kassandra Humberson’s Bookmarked to Alexandra Bodnarchuk’s Ukranian-inspired piece, Eternal Memory. The range is something Thomas Porter, who choreographed a group number, Thoroughly Maintained, said was important to the seniors.
“These works embody the specific styles the choreographers have developed throughout their undergraduate careers,” Porter said. “The wide range of choreographic interests allows for a multi-faceted viewing experience.”
Each dance not only has a different style, it also has a different story behind it — or none at all.
Choreographer Megan Preston’s piece, Contact-Conversation, features a story using different pedestrians greeting one another, while Alexa Baxendell said her dance does not have a story.
“I based my piece Wild Mouse off of the movement and architecture of roller coasters,” Baxendell said. “The dance has no storyline nor does it have any specific emotion; it’s just movement put to music.”
The concert is an opportunity for seniors to use their artistic freedom to help the audience experience new things, Nicklos said.
“I like being able to express my artistic vision and opening up the audience’s ideas about what they’re seeing,” Nicklos said. “It’s important to be a creative ambassador to open up people’s eyes to different things.”