Dancers look forward: Seniors take the stage in capstone performance

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By: Sydney Douglas, Staff Writer

In the Dance Studio Theatre, a screen displayed the show’s title “Ellipses” and blanketed the stage in a soft red hue as the silhouette of stained glass was strewn across the backdrop. In the opening scene, the spotlight was on a dancer crouched on the floor while surrounded in a circle by other dancers.

Ellipses was a showcase of the dance majors’ senior capstone performances. Each dance was created and choreographed by a student and it tells their own story.

The performances ran from April 7-9 in the Center for the Arts sponsored by the Department of Dance.

“It’s designed to prepare them to launch into the professional dance marketplace,” professor of dance and facilitator, Jaye Knutson, said. “Some of them already have jobs. Ms. Pinkett is with the American Dance Theatre, an international company based in New York City. Some of the graduates have elected to get a BFA in dance and a teaching certificate.”

The project consisted of 30 cast members and 16 seniors. The senior project seminar class had students working on the dance for over a year.

“After all the rehearsing the lights, camera, action to the piece, it is rewarding to see all of the action in your head on stage,” senior Stephanie Crockett said.

The dancers coordinated their own cast and constructed all of the production elements. This project aims to launch them into their own professional career.

“The dance embodies the physical manifestation of what we feel,” senior Jessica Pinkett said. “Not only are we performing, but introducing our work.”

As the seniors graduate this May, many of them incorporated their post-graduation plans into their performances.

“It is a summary of everything that we have learned our past four years here,” senior Mary Clark said. “For me personally, it is what I want to say to people. I have these few minutes of everyone’s attention.”

The student-ran production was a result of hard work and dedication to the arts for which the students love.

“Every dance major has had these moments of ‘why am I here?’” Clark said. “‘Why am I dancing?’ We are embodying our movement and forget about the rest of the world. I was a homeschooler and didn’t get to explore the world. I could through dance.”

The department of dance does a showcase every year for the senior seminar dance.

“Support the arts, respect the arts. Support the artist, respect the artist,” Pinkett said.

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