Senior concert to debut Q&A session

The senior class of the School for Classical and Contemporary Dance will showcase its artistry to the public this week by featuring a new question and answer portion with the choreographers, a senior choreographer said.

Natalie Henry, a senior modern dance major, said that for the first time, all choreographers of the night will be available to answer questions from the audience about their pieces following the concert. She said the students and professors added this component as a way for choreographers to talk about their work.

Henry said the Senior Capstone Concert is choreographed and produced by all 13 seniors, ranging from the promotional to the technical and behind-the-scenes needs of the concert.

The performances will feature a variety of university students, from freshmen to seniors, primarily from the dance department, Henry said. The senior class members will be able to showcase their creativity through choreography during the performances.

“It’s a chance for seniors to put their heart and soul into something that means a lot to them,” Henry said.

Seniors incorporate their daily lives into their choreography, Henry said. One senior choreographer incorporated her other major, environmental science, into a piece for the show. Other pieces incorporate favorite poetry with the dancers reciting the poem.

Laura Gill, a junior modern dance major, said she is dancing in the production and enjoys being a part of the senior pieces.

“I think this year’s Capstone Concert shows the wide variety of talented seniors that we will all miss dearly,” Gill said. “Both shows are unique and eclectic, giving a glimpse of each choreographer’s personality.”

Summer McGowan, a senior modern dance major, said her piece was inspired by the Art in Europe Program, a study abroad program she participated in last summer.

“My inspiration for my dance was actually the photographs,” McGowan said. “So during my dance I have a slideshow.”

Photos of antique doors and scenic pictures will play on a big screen behind the dancers and inspire much of the movement throughout the piece, McGowan said.

Each piece is seven to 10 minutes long, featuring a variety of styles and dance genres including ballet, modern and tango, Henry said.

McGowan said the dance professors who serve as advisers and seniors have previewed the concert as a form of feedback. Their input has contributed to the growth of the production and the learning experience for the dancers, she said.

Elizabeth Gillaspy, associate professor of ballet, said she and Susan Douglas Roberts, associate professor of modern dance, serve as the two advisers for the process showing. Gillaspy said the process showing is done a few times throughout the year and is equivalent to turning in multiple drafts of a paper for revision.

Gillaspy said the seniors have crafted dances that are fully connected to their artistic voices and that she and Roberts are thrilled to watch young choreographers emerge.

Senior Capstone Dance Concert

When: 7 p.m. tonight through Saturday. Concert A on Friday and Concert B tonight and Saturday.

Where: Ballet and Modern Dance Building, StudioB Theater.