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Enter our World: Behind the Scenes of Modern Dance Senior Concert (Part I)

17 March 2016 Published in News and Announcements

This is part one of a multi-part guest post by Modern Dance senior Vixy Boldt.

Being a senior at a University means a year of many things including excitement, stress, and preparing for the “real world.” As the end nears, I find myself reflecting back on all I have accomplished. As I begin to reach towards my dreams of life after college, all the work that brought me to this point feels worth it. To outside eyes, it may seem like it was a small portion of my life to get my degree, but to me it felt like an entire lifetime at times. Yet here I am, ready to take the next step.

Being a senior in the Modern Dance Department is no different. By the middle of the spring semester, internships are underway and the Senior Concert process begins to unfold. The halls of the dance building become of flurry of dancers working hard with summer in sight. What could be so hard about being a senior in the Modern Dance program? After all, it is just a bunch of dancing, right?

Follow me on this journey and enter our world. The world and life of a senior in the Modern Dance Department as we prepare and create our Modern Dance Senior Concert 2016.

Modern Senior Concert Image

Senior concert is the shining moment for us to show how our ideas and movement preferences have developed over our four years at the University. Along with our own choreographed pieces, the senior class gets to choose a choreographer to bring in to create a piece specifically for us. This can be quite the process because there are so many from which to choose. Together, we had to hash out why a certain choreographer should be chosen, if they work well with groups, if their movement style would work well with all those involved (and much more). The availability of the wanted choreographer will play a role in the decision, so a list of choreographers was selected to hand over to the Department Chair for further consideration. Whew… Done Deal.

Oh wait, one more thing. Once a choreographer had been agreed upon it was then up to us as a class to budget, schedule, and collect all the data necessary to write a grant to propose to a board of appointed faculty and student representatives from the College of Fine Arts. This board would either supply or deny funding to bring the choreographer to Salt Lake for two weeks. Finally, after all of this was complete, the senior class of 2016 chose to bring in Kate Wallich in as our choreographer.IMG 0009

Throughout her two-week stay in Salt Lake City, Wallich choreographed a new 10-minute piece on my classmates and me. Rehearsals were held Monday-Saturday. When rehearsals were not being held, she also taught improvisation, dance composition, and dance technique classes for the Department of Modern Dance.

At times, rehearsals can seem like an easy process where everything is pre-planned, everyone is told exactly what to do, and suddenly you have a flawless beautiful piece of work that the whole world needs to see! But there are a lot of other things that can happen in rehearsals that you don’t see when watching the finished piece. A lot of time is spent learning and perfecting movement, timing sequences, making sure that the spacing on the stage is correct so that nobody runs into one another, and making sure that the decisions made by the choreographer bring a sense of cohesiveness to the piece. Add in costumes, lighting, music, choreography changes, music changes, exploring decisions for movement, etc. and you have a lot on your plate.

Yet as the finished product emerges, you begin to see the amazing atmosphere that has been created. You begin to live and breathe the essence of the piece, and as time continues onward, you begin to feel the reassurance that the senior modern dance concert will become the show you always wanted it to be.

Stay tuned for part two, coming soon! And be sure to join us for the show:

MARCH 31 @ 5:30PM | APRIL 1 & 2 @ 7:30PM (BUY TICKETS)

APRIL 21 @ 5:30PM | APRIL 22 & 23 @ 7:30PM (BUY TICKETS)

Senior Concert Poster S16 fff