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The Division of Dance will travel to Columbus for its concert.

Division of Dance to begin spring tour Thursday in Columbus

Dance Division to present its choreography at Fort Hayes.

The College of Fine Arts' Division of Dance will take its moves to central Ohio this week at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center in Columbus on Thursday. 

The concert will feature six performances, and five will be choreographed by seniors. High school students from Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center who are interested in dance will perform solos, group choreography and workshops.

The next two performances will occur in Louisville, Kentucky, on April 13 and at the Ohio University Shirley Wimmer Dance Theater on April 15 and 16.

Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fine arts are required to partake in at least two tour dates presenting choreographed solo and group work for their senior capstone.

Benjamin Roach, a sophomore studying dance performing and choreography, said the tours allow dancers to become multi-talented.

“Being versatile is definitely a part of the job,” he said. “It’s rewarding as a cast member experiencing different choreography styles as a dancer and to mold it to fit what the choreographer desires.”

Even though a majority of the performers are seniors, individuals from every grade level contribute. Freshmen, sophomores and juniors help out as designers, backstage crew and stage managers.

“Creating, touring and performing at senior dance concerts can be a very daunting task,” Allison Bradley, a senior studying dance performance and choreography, said. “Due to the size of the Dance Division, everyone collaborates to share and support the creative work of others.”

Travis Gatling, artistic director and head of the Division of Dance, said the capstone allows students to be stronger problem solvers.

“They engage in the creative process on a deeper level from solving small to more complex movement problems that are related to choreography,” Gatling said.

Nathan Andary, artistic director for the senior tour, said performing outside of Athens has benefits for both audiences and performers.

“It is an exciting time for them to take their work on the road and perform it on a stage outside of the campus Athens,” Andary said. “Performing outside of Athens builds an audience and appreciation for the breadth of contemporary dance and what we offer through the Dance Division at Ohio University.”

Bradley said studying dance gives her insight on and off the stage.

“By studying choreography, I can understand my own personal perspectives and channel those into my work,” she said. “The more I study choreography and share it with others, the more I evolve and understand the human potential in movement.”

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Roach said each choreographed performance took two to three months to make, and some were premiered in 2015.

Andary said the work ethic, diversity and talent present will make for a distinguished show Thursday evening.

“Each dancer has worked to develop an understanding of their unique artistic voice,” he said. “Therefore, the program shows a wide range of creativity and talent.”


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