Theatre and dance presents “Dance Spectrum” Nov. 14-16

SHSU’s theatre and dance department will feature dance students’ performances, beginning on Thursday and continuing until Saturday, in the University Theatre Center Mainstage.All shows will begin at 8 p.m., with a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets to the show are $10 to general admission and $8 to senior citizens and students. The purpose of the “Dance Spectrum” concert is to showcase talent of the dance program.Tiffany Nirider, graduate teacher’s assistant and producer of the concert, said that “Dance Spectrum” would give the audience an inside look into the dance world and would show the students and the community the style and choreography used in the dances. “‘Dance Spectrum’ not only provides an entertaining, imaginative and thought-provoking time for our audiences, but the dancers who are performing or who are working behind the scenes will receive performance experience,” said Nirider. “I hope that when the audience leaves the concert, they will relate to the students and what they do,” she said.Five dance instructors, which includes Dana Nicolay, Jennifer Pontius, Dr. Cindy Gratz, Kista Tucker and Jonathan Charles have taught at least 60 students, both cast and crew, six dance performances. All of the performances are original and are comprised of ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz forms. The faculty choreographed each piece and cast their own students to perform. One featured piece is, “To Have and To Hold”, which was choreographed by guest artists Danial Shapiro and company member Joanie Smith. It is a repertory piece of the Minneapolis-based dance troupe Shapiro and Smith Dance. Nicolay said that “To Have and To Hold” was a wonderful example of what dance does best. “The work simply takes your breath away,” he said.Nicolay will present “Per Diem”, a modern form of dance performance.Students auditioned at the beginning of the school year for the Dance Spectrum and have been working on these performances since September.”The Bus Stop” tells a story of these idiots at a Bus Stop,” Gratz said. Gratz taught four girls the four-minute piece and has been working on this dance for two years.”This performance is a hilarious visualization of the comedy skit called, “Bulbous Boufant” by the Vestibules,” said Gratz. “At first, the dance started out as a duet with Rachael and Tina, and it was called “Go.” The dance wasn’t complete though. I guess I didn’t know where it was going. Then I found that we knew where “Go” went, and that was to “The Bus Stop”. I then added Leila and Alisa to perform the piece as well,” she said.”Tina plays a fisherman, Rachael plays a dishwasher, Alisa plays an Eskimo and Leila plays a lady with a two-foot beehive hairdo, and doubles as a Beluga whale. All of these characters are dressed to fit the part,” said Gratz.”Students like Tina McDow, Rachael Morgan, Leila Mull and Alisa Paradowski have been working extremely hard on their performance,” she said.Paradowski and Mull, both juniors, are ecstatic about performing and cannot wait until family and friends come to see them perform.McDow, who is the director for Orange Pride and a graduate student, explained that when the four girls have time, they get together and work on their contemporary dance piece. “We seldom have the time because all four of us have other organizations and priorities to take care of,” she said, “but I’m really excited to open on Wednesday night.”Jennifer Pontius will stage “Peasant Pas de Deus,” a joyful, yet romantic, duet from the first act of “Giselle”.Pontius also choreographed “Dreams”, a ballet set to George Gershwin’s “Lullaby”. “My story for the ballet developed from the themes in the music, which, to me, seemed to express the dreams of a young girl; an ephemeral fairy tale of pastel colors, fleeting visions and imaginary friends,” said Pontius.Seven students, including graduate student Jamie Widner, will perform “Mud Birds,” a modern abstraction of bird moves choreographed by Kista Tucker.Jonathan Charles will present the performance “From One”.Video cameras are not allowed in the theatre, but the theatre and dance department will provide students a tape of the show upon request.For more information about the “Dance Spectrum”, contact the dance department at 294-1875.

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