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Dance majors showcase department-wide talent

by Zach Wagner - Copy Editor
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 06:00 pm
Brockport dance majors showed off what the department has to offer in a three day event held in Hartwell Hall.  The dance show was put together by the participating dancers, who also were responsible for the lighting and costumes.
Brockport dance majors showed off what the department has to offer in a three day event held in Hartwell Hall. The dance show was put together by the participating dancers, who also were responsible for the lighting and costumes.

The College at Brockport dance department held its annual showcase in  Hartwell Hall Auditorium. The three-day event took place on Thursday, Nov. 7, Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9, giving current dance majors a chance to show off their skills on stage and behind the scenes.  

“The concert is completely designed and choreographed and costumed by students,” Lecturer Janet Schroeder, Ph.D. said “I think it is really exciting to get to the show time and see all that stuff come together.”

Starting the first weekend of the semester, dance students are given the opportunity to audition for a role in the performance. Whether they are physically performing, planning out lighting and choreography or helping out with costumes, each moving part is what helps bring the performance full circle.

“Students work together — maybe the same person that choreographs the piece designed the lights and the costumes but often it’s that there is choreographer, another person designed the lights and another person designed the costumes,” Schroeder said. 

Schroeder and other members of the faculty came together in feedback sessions to help give students an idea of what the show should revolve around. A few weeks later, students fully auditioned for their parts, where Schroeder and the committee full of students made the final decisions on what will be implemented in the performance.

Aside from giving her feedback and making executive decisions on what made the cut, Schroeder had other responsibilities behind the curtains to help make sure everything was in place for the performance.

“Other things that I did was create the show order, write the press release, communicate with the fine arts series managers, the production manager and there are other faculty — there’s a technical director and a costumer that oversees everything — we worked together big picture and all the details come from the students,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder was once a student at The College at Brockport in the same position as the students representing today. For her, it is a different experience being on the other side, but gets the same feeling revolving around the event.

“I did my MFA here from 2010 to 2013 and I just graduated with my Ph.D. from Ohio State,”  Schroeder said. “This is exciting for me to be on the other side — I don’t know if it’s that much different but I think it’s still just really important that student choreography gets seen at a place like The College at Brockport.” 

When it came to the performance, the audience was greeted with many different styles of dance, showcasing what is offered by the dance department. The show began with a very dramatic tone, showing  emotion through the art. Later on toward the middle, the show became lively seeing a rise in the energy level due to much more upbeat songs the dancers used. As the performance progressed to the end, it toned down to a much more melancholic experience. 

To cap it all off, a big tap dance number brought the performance up many notches, grabbing the attention of the audience. The lighting played a huge role in each of the pieces, setting the mood for each individual number.

Junior Olivia Anderson participated in the tap number that wrapped up the show. Anderson was proud of the whole staff after seeing the performance pan out three nights in a row. She saw all the hard work they put in the last two and a half months come to life on the stage.

“Overall I thought it went really well, all the dancers and choreographers did a really great job,” Anderson said. “You can tell how much work they put into the show and it really paid off.” 

Everyone responsible in the making of this performance, should give themselves a pat on the back for all the dedication that goes into throwing something like this together. Of course, it is nice to watch and enjoy, but spectators cannot overlook all the time and effort that is given to produce a show like this.

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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