The Performing Arts Department (PAD) in Arts & Sciences will present its third biennial Young Choreographers Showcase March 28-30 in the Annelise Mertz Dance Studio in Mallinckrodt Student Center. The concert will feature more than a dozen dancers in seven original works by student choreographers in the PAD’s Dance Program. Performances begin at 8 p.m. March 28 and 29 and at 2 p.m. March 30.
“We have a really interesting mix of dances this year,” says David W. Marchant, senior lecturer in dance, who serves as co-artistic director for the showcase, along with senior Noelle Bohaty.
“There’s a nice range of styles and groupings and relationships — from modern works to ballet, from abstract design to narrative stories, from solos to large group pieces and all configurations in between,” he said.
All works are chosen by audition — a three-part process that began last fall with an initial audition, followed by a selection round and then a final preperformance critique.
The selection jury is comprised of the PAD’s four full-time dance faculty — Marchant; Mary-Jean Cowell, associate professor of dance; Christine Knoblauch-O’Neal, senior lecturer in dance; and Cecil Slaughter, senior lecturer in dance — as well as Bohaty and Henry Claude, the PAD’s music director for dance.
“The faculty just serve as an oversight committee,” Marchant said. “The artistic product, from choreography and performance to lighting and costumes, is realized by the students, and none of that could happen if they weren’t willing to dedicate a lot of hours to helping each other.
“The success of each choreographer depends largely on their peers, which is a remarkable testament to how this department functions.”
Bohaty, in addition to serving on the selection jury, choreographs and performs in “The Gathering,” a large ensemble piece for eight dancers. Adapted from a site-specific work titled “in these walls,” the piece was originally presented last fall as part of a senior thesis project.
Sophomore Corinn Williams choreographs and performs “Tentatively Behind Closed Doors,” a modern solo she describes as “dealing with surface appearances versus internal emotion and the contrast that exists between them.” Senior Shaina Goodman and junior Laurie Bonkowski perform Goodman’s “Holding,” which explores the ability of others to silence one’s own self-expression.
Senior Patricia Engel choreographs and performs in “rewound,” a modern point piece that includes a trio and two duos through which four dancers “explore their relationship to each other as well as their experience of the past, present and future,” Engel said.
Anne Laue-Minden, a senior architecture major in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, choreographs and performs in “Drawing Series: Line, Shadow/Object, Figure/Ground.” Written for seven dancers, the piece is informed by both architectural and dance studies and serves as “a choreographic investigation of inhabiting and embodying space,” Laue-Minden said.
Rounding out the program is a dance by senior Becky Hutt as well as “Shattered Glass,” an evocative duet — choreographed and performed by senior Heather Wigmore and junior Jackie Dodd — that examines “the relationships we can and cannot build during a crisis,” Hutt said.
Tickets — $15 for the public and $9 for seniors, students, faculty and staff — are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office at 935-6543.