Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dance Ensemble brings joy to students young and old

Dance 2013 returns with new dances, rehearses for elementary school students

By Kelli Breland, A&E Writer

With incredible choreography, stunning talent and an unparalleled sense of fun and diversity, Dance 2013 is just around the corner.

The annual Pacific Lutheran University Dance Ensemble is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. More than 50 students from the PLU dance team will be performing in the production as well as the Lute Nation step team.

Dance 2013 will be a showcase event, featuring 15 different dance pieces and a feature video at intermission. Everything from free-spirited and upbeat dances to serious dances addressing major social issues will be featured.

"It’s a variety of different movements, different dance themes, different music," Maureen McGill, director of Dance 2013, said. "The creative process is the best part of the production."

The creative process began in November when potential choreographers had a chance to audition their ideas for the production.

First-year Miranda Winter’s dance titled "Aspire, Uplift, and Grow" made the list. In creating her piece, Winter said she focused on her love for the freedom and expression of dance.

"The movement’s really happy. It’s like a mix of ballet and modern," she said. "Hopefully it’ll be uplifting for people to watch."

On the opposite side of the emotional spectrum, PLU alum Emily Fahey choreographed a powerful and symbolic dance to the poetry of Dylan Thomas.

An English major at PLU, Fahey was on the dance team for three years. Fahey said her dancers represent "trees fighting to stay grounded from being uprooted."

This is the first time Fahey has choreographed to a poetry piece instead of music, and she said she looks forward to displaying her new ideas and interpretations through this piece.

The PLU dance team has also collaborated with the Elk Plain School of Choice elementary for a dance with a timeless mood, titled "Raven and the One Who Sits on the Tides."

Carla Barragan, a teacher and choreographer at Elk Plain, first taught the dance to her elementary students and then to PLU dancers. It is based on "The Raven Tale of the Pacific Northwest," she said.

This is the first time Barragan has worked with PLU students. "I use a lot of concepts and ideas and let them interpret and give me the movement. And that’s what they did," Barragan said, "so it was new for me and new for them."

The Elk Plain students joined the PLU dance team during a special rehearsal last Friday and performed their version of Barragan’s dance for PLU dancers.

Afterward, the elementary students smiled and clapped for the PLU dancers as they rehearsed the rest of the pieces for Dance 2013.

With such a great diversity of dance pieces, attitudes, talent, emotions and themes — Dance 2013 won’t be an event you want to miss.

Dance 2013 will take place in Olson Auditorium tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for PLU students and $8 for general admission.

Purchase your ticket at the campus concierge, or at the doors of Olson Auditorium before the show.

CORRECTIONS: In the April 26 page 7 article, “Dance Ensemble brings joy to students young and old,” the names PLU Dance Team and PLU Dance Ensemble were used interchangeably. They are two different entities. Also, the dance titled “The Raven,” was danced by PLU Dancers, not the team  as a whole.