Dance students schowcase traditional, modern arts

By Carl Nadig

DeKalb | Whether moving gracefully, chaotically or in an unrecognizable form, dance students rehearsed it for today’s performance.

The School of Theatre and Dance will present the Fall Dance Concert 2013 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday. Because of the construction in the Stevens Building, the concert is opening at Huntley Middle School auditorium, 1515 S. Fourth St.

Each of the compositions center around love in motion.

The fall dance concert includes dance performance styles mixed with music, including ballet juxtaposed against modern music and contemporary jazz. With a total of five musical dances, the concert opens with the non-narrative ballet, “Les Sylphides.”

“Primarily our story is told without words,” said dance coordinator Judith Chitwood. “The story is told through movement, through the choreography, through the text — if there is any — through the music, through the musicality [and] the dancers…. So we’re doing a variety of things, including classical ballet — which is something I’m very passionate about — and then working in the contemporary mode as well as the modern mode. So we’re trying to show a good perspective of what our program is about.”

Not every dance will be as graceful as the ballet, or even as recognizable. Instead, the concert will display widened and progressive forms of the performing arts. Several faculty members have taken part in choreographing sections of the concert.

“The piece I choreographed is called ‘Pendulum,’” said assistant dance professor Morgan Fogarty. “We just created it this semester, so it’s very new. It’s very post-modern, it’s very pedestrian, it’s very stripped down, [and] it’s very nontraditional as far as modern goes.

“[O]ne day I couldn’t be at rehearsal, but I made [the students] go through the piece with each other, and apparently they were talking with each other when they ran through it and they said it was very interesting….

“[T]here’s a lot of improvisation in my work. Generally, when anybody makes a mistake, I love it.”

While the concert is a showcase for the fine arts in the dance program, it also displays historical stories like in “Silly Songs,” a comical dance.

“I was very proud of the students coming out to the technical level that I required for this piece,” said dance professor Paula Frasz. “It’s been interesting because you have [to] teach people to be funny on stage.”