Studio 115 Dance Concert opens
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 01:05
While finals are bearing down on students, the Repertory Dance Company of the University of Southern Mississippi invites the surrounding area to enjoy an evening of dance.
The Repertory Dance Company includes students of all classifications and is holding its Studio 115 Dance Concert.
The concert, held each semester, is made up of six pieces, all performed by students from freshmen to seniors. Students choreographed five of the pieces, while faculty member Shellie Nielsen choreographed one.
Senior choreography major Kristina Hazelbaker choreographed the piece “Evolving Equilibriums.” She described the piece as a trio that explores seeing dance from an unbalanced place.
“It takes your world and turns it upside down,” Hazelbaker said. “Nothing is what you knew before, and you’re just exploring the new environment.”
Hazelbaker said the modern piece casts two freshmen female dancers and one sophomore male.
“It was my first time choreographing a male student, so it was very different and exciting,” she said.
Junior dance performance and choreography major Tyler McCants also choreographed a piece. The second in the program, named “How We Mesh,” focuses on working with stacking dancers both in space and as a group with each other.
“It has five dancers, and you can look at it like stacking and un-stacking books on a shelf, McCants said.
McCants also dances in the first number of the evening, “Winding Down.” McCants said the piece looks at winding down age-wise.
“It’s about how children grow into elderly people,” McCants said. “It starts off with playful, more flowing movement, and the ending has the grown-ups in a bound, internal position.”
Kelly Ferris Lester, director of the Repertory Dance Company, said the concert has more of a serious tone.
“The pieces are mostly movement explorations that have been spawned by expression,” Lester said.
Meredith Early instructs the dance department’s choreography course. Early described the concert as a host of dynamic variety, showcasing how versatile the performers is.
“The performers are sensitive, direct, supportive, and explosive,” Early said. “A foundation for the works presented reveal an inherent commentary on humanity and evolution.”
Early said concepts explored include “transitioning through different stages of life, acceptance and resolution, coming together and forming relationships with those around us, being inspired by the experiences of others and shifting one’s perspective of how we view the world.”
“I think this is one of the better shows of student work that we’ve had in awhile,” Hazelbaker said. “It shows the integrity of the program.”
“People should come out because it’s only an hour long and five dollars to get in, and it can get you involved in what the university is doing through the arts.”
McCants noted that the show also gives the freshmen dancers an appropriate debut.
“It definitely showcases the work we’ve done artistically and technically,” he said.
“Our students audition to get into this program, and they work very hard to maintain their skills and technique while maintaining their academics,” Lester said of the talent of the students in the concert.
The Studio 115 Dance Concert will be held in Studio 115 in the Theater and Dance Building on campus. The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. on May 3, 4, and 5. A matinee showing will be held at 2 p.m. on May 5. Tickets are $5, and a post-concert discussion with choreographers will be held after the May 3 performance.