The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Dance will kick off its spring “Studio 115” dance concert Thursday in the Theatre and Dance Building.
The concert will feature choreographic projects created by seven junior dance majors.
Jamiaus Marion, a junior dance performance and choreography major, will showcase his choreography, titled “Underneath the Woodburied Forrest 1921.”
The self-titled piece includes 11 dancers, and while it does not necessarily have a set meaning, it is inspired by the movie, “The Woman in Black.”
“I created a story about 11 killers being trapped in a forest haunted by the mistakes they have faced in the past,” Marion said. “It also shows how relationships can form in the midst of turmoil and stress.”
Marion went on to explain that his black costumes, as well as the movement in the piece are highly dramatic and stylized.
“I want the student body to come see this because it’s different and something fun and exciting to watch,” Marion said. “Along with my fellow colleagues, we have worked very hard in making these works.”
Each junior is required to create a dance project in order to fulfill the junior choreography component and advance to his or her senior year.
Although the students decide on the theme, music, costume choice and lighting for their piece, faculty members serve as a guide or “listening ear” throughout their process.
One faculty member that mentored the students is professor Kelly Lester, who revealed each piece presented in the concert includes originality and investigates personal interest or emotions.
“I am proud of the work by our students as they each are developing a unique artistic voice,” Lester said. “This is major for our students as they embark on creating a work with less limitations than the other dance compositions.”
Lester went on to express her great pleasure working with the students and excitement for the audience to see the unique pieces.
“These works represent each individual and his or her creative vision,” Lester said.
The concert will take place April 30 and May 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. and May 2 at 2 p.m.
Guests attending the opening night will receive a treat as a post-performance “Meet the Artist” takes place.
General admission for the event is $5.
For more information on the concert, visit www.usm.edu/dance.