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Students of Ohio University's School of Dance perform a student-choreographed piece titled Interpersonal Frequency in Putnam Hall on March 31, 2023.

Senior dance majors preview their concert

Last Friday, Ohio University's School of Dance seniors previewed their Spring Senior Dance Concert in preparation for their official performance in April. The concert will showcase original choreography from 13 seniors in the School of Dance and have a mix of solo, duet and group performances.

At their preview, this talented group of seniors debuted the dances they will perform this month in front of their peers and faculty members. The seniors vocalized their ideas for costuming, lighting and music and were open to critique from faculty and peers.

The seniors debuting their choreography, as well as their dance skills, are Abigail Bowman, Emily Bryan, Micaiah Clouse, Ania Fuller, Hannah Grubb, Jordan Jackson, Cristina LaRocca, Nicole Peterman, Lee Peters, Emily Pierce, Emma Prochaska, Maegan Wasaff and Micheala Verrico.

Four of these talented seniors, Cristina LaRocca, Abigail Bowman, Micheala Verrico and Emily Pierce, shared the inspiration behind their pieces.

"My inspiration draws from past pieces I've been in, so it's just kind of like a reflection of my dance career," said Bowman. "So I've watched videos, I've gone back and tried to regain some of the movement in my body and then have used that for movement generation and then the song and the lighting."

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A student of Ohio University's School of Dance performs a student-choreographed piece titled When Simplicity Grows Silent in Putnam Hall on March 31, 2023.

LaRocca also draws inspiration from the fact that her college time as an undergraduate is coming to an end.

"I titled the work 'Thursday's Child' based on the little nursery rhyme and the line," LaRocca said. "There's a line in the nursery rhyme that says 'there's this child that has far to go,' so I thought that was a glimpse of graduation, like I have so far to go in the world. I wanted to create something fun and I detached heavy emotion from the choreography in the creation process."

Two of the other seniors who shared their inspiration grabbed from more serious themes.

"I choreographed an evening-length work, based on the research I've been doing about what it means to negotiate queer intimacy through artistic practice," said Pierce. "Then throughout that, it odes to the community that the dancers have built with each other based on being dancers or identifying as queer."

Varrico is on a similar page in terms of personalization.

"The inspiration for this solo is a feeling that I've had a lot during college which is a bizarre feeling for myself because when I get very overwhelmed or stressed, I almost wish I could be a child again…I realized that what I want is simplicity," said Verrico. "When you're a child, you see the world in this colorful vibrancy that's different than sometimes when you're older, at least for myself, and I feel like the piece is about yearning for that feeling again, and how I'm going to progress in my life with accepting that I don't feel that."

Each dance offered unique choreography, strong technique and deep meaning, making for a thought-provoking show. In every dance, the performers created beautiful lines and shapes with their bodies and spoke through their movements.

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Students of Ohio University's School of Dance perform a student-choreographed piece titled Interpersonal Frequency in Putnam Hall on March 31, 2023.

The audience can transition through several emotions while watching the performance. Some dancers had an upbeat, light tone to their dance while others tackled darker themes and moods. This transfers into costuming as well as some dancers are dressed in all black while some are in pastels.

Not only is the audience able to transport emotionally throughout each performance, but there is also a level of physical transformation that happens as well. The costumes and prop usage vary greatly in each performance, transporting the audience from time and place to each dance.

The amount of variety in each performance is likely what makes the concert so compelling and interesting. Some dances are composed of groups as big as seven with fast, strong movements, while some are soloists with slower, smoother movements. One of the dances even has a spoken word element in which the performer is singing and dancing at the same time.

Powerful, emotional, dynamic and moving does not even begin to describe what these dancers have been able to pull off in their show. These young dancers have created a concert of extremely high caliber that is worth the watch.

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Students of Ohio University's School of Dance perform a student-choreographed piece titled Filthy Rich in Putnam Hall on March 31, 2023.

It is evident that each choreographer has put in an immense amount of time and effort into their dances. When words cannot suffice, this talented group has proved that dance can. This concert is an accumulation of all their hard work at OU and proves that hard work does indeed pay off.

The formal concert will take place on April 14 and 15 at The Shirley Dance Theater in Putnam Hall. There will be two performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on each night, tickets are now available for purchase here


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