After a long process of choreographing and auditioning, over a dozen student-written works will be performed at Succop Theater in Butler as part of the 39th annual Dance Theatre Winter Concert on Saturday, Feb. 4. The student-choreographed pieces will be spread out over the two time periods: one at 2 p.m. and one at 6:30 p.m.
Concert production coordinator and professor of dance Nola Nolen said the works chosen for the concert came from a group of 59 student-choreographed and -directed dances at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. Nolen said each student who wanted to submit a piece was to submit a letter of intent in May of 2016.
Auditions for each of the works were held in September by the student choreographers, and each piece had 2 rehearsals per week. Nolen said they were judged by a panel of faculty and dance staff over the course of three adjudication concerts. Each member on the panel scored each of the dances using various categories, with a total and final score out of 100. Those chosen to be performed in the Winter Concert all had scores of 89 out of 100 or higher.
“Anyone attending the concert will be seeing the finest student work SRU has to offer,” Nolen said. “Students who present their works in this concert consider it a real accomplishment.”
Among the students performing and presenting are Emma Pfeifer, Monica Traggiai, Malena Maust, Lindsay McGivern and Emmalee Hallinan.
According to Nolen, McGivern and Hallinan will both be presenting two pieces at the concert: a solo and a group work, and Hallinan will later be representing SRU at the American College Dance Association (ACDA) conference in March of this year. Maust, who is presenting her work at the Winter Concert for the first time this year, will also be representing SRU at the conference with her solo “The Final Act” shown in a video.
Nolen said all but two of the works being performed at the concert are student-written and -performed while the other two pieces were written by dance instructor Teena Marie Custer and guest choreographer Matthew Shaffer. Custer’s work, “Quake,” will be the finale at both times on Saturday and will also be presented at the ACDA conference.
Nolen credited much of the success of the department to not only the students but the many people involved with the behind-the-scenes work, as well. Rock PRoductions, the director of the Smith Student Center, the printing services and the student workers and directors within the department are some of the people who have had a large part in the planning and preparation for this concert.
“Sometimes, it feels like the entire campus is involved,” Nolen said. “It really makes some parts of our lives painless.”
Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the information desk at the Smith Student Center, online, or at the door on Saturday.