Dance Majors Present Their Capstone Concert

Spring Dance Concert 2012 Production Photo

By Kristen Downs

The senior dance showcase concert is an opportunity for the graduating seniors to display all they have learned from their experiences in dance at CSU. They have put together solo pieces, group performances, and are involved with all the production aspects of the concert from start to finish.

The fall show, entitled Two Pairs of Turtle Doves, features the choreography of Emma Kimball, Brittany Hazel, Shannon McGee, and Cheryl Senser. The concert will run December 7, 8 p.m. and December 8, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

“We’ve chosen this title because it is a bit of an inside joke that actually describes the four of us directors quite well,” said senior dancer Emma Kimball.

This end-of-semester concert provides senior dance majors a chance to showcase their choreography, performance, and production talents in the capstone concert event.

“Training together for the last four years allowed us to influence each other in many ways,” notes senor dance major director Emma Kimball. “We hope to produce a concert that provides the audience with a variety of movement qualities and ideas to think about.”

The show is directed and choreographed solely by the four seniors as the most important project a part of their major. They are responsible for auditioning other dance majors to be part of their group dances, costume design, set design and lighting. The girls have spent the entire semester planning and putting together their unique performances from start to finish.

Here is a bit about this semester’s dance major capstone directors:

Emma Kimball, from Fruita, CO began taking dance classes at the age of eight. Although primarily a Ballet and modern dancer, Kimball also studied jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and was able to study at Alonzo King LINES Ballet in the summer of 2012. Emma’s group choreographic work for this concert is entitled Autobiography of a Mind because it explores how different individuals perceive their own bodies. The piece features a company of 12 CSU dance majors performing abstract modern-style movement and utilizes digital media projections designed by CSU theatre students John Erickson and Richard Muller. “I have chosen to explore the topic of how different people perceive their bodies because it allowed me to learn about different cultures as well as analyze and develop my own thoughts,” said Emma. Her solo choreographic work for the concert is entitled Theme & Variations. It is inspired by the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes but is set to a Baroque violin solo. “I want to manipulate movement in ways that I have never manipulated it before and challenge myself as a performer to make every movement as thorough and interesting as possible.”

Shannon McGee, originally from Dallas, TX, has been dancing and training since she was five years old. Shannon’s favorite style of dance is contemporary movement. Upon graduation, she hopes to dance professionally. Her group piece, Introspect, is mostly contemporary, and has 11 dancers performing. The 14-minute-long piece is about the different ways people perceive themselves. Shannon has choreographed this dance using 11 full length mirrors on wheels that the dancers move around in different formations and incorporate into their movements and choreography. Her solo piece is based on her experiences at CSU. “The choreography is just an interpretation of my own personal movement style and music,” says McGee.

Brittany Hazel started dancing when she was three years old in Littleton, CO. “I never had the knack for sports, so I tried dancing and gymnastics,” said Hazel. Brittany will be graduating in fall 2013 degrees in Dance and the other in Human Development & Family Studies. Her pieces for this concert consist of one group and a solo. Her group piece, entitle Endless Embodiment, is a dedication to her younger brother Troy who has Type 2 diabetes. It includes 10 dancers with three soloists symbolizing children with leukemia, diabetes, and congenital heart disease. Its focus is on how children deserve love regardless of their health. “I want the audience become aware of these childhood diseases and gain an understanding that every child deserves love from anyone or everyone.” Her solo piece is about her growth at CSU. “I wanted to choreograph a piece that allowed me to look back on my four years of dance at CSU,” said Brittany.

Cheryl Senser began her early dance training at the Academy of Colorado Ballet where she trained in ballet and modern technique. Cheryl has also performed with the company Colorado Ballet in their productions of The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and Dracula. In 2010 she joined the CSU dance program and has been studying modern dance, ballet, choreography, pedagogy, and character dance. Cheryl hopes to become a teacher when she graduates. Her group piece is set in a not-so-distant future where people struggle with aspects of what it means to be human, and contemplating the choice of becoming robots (who do not struggle with human feelings). Cheryl’s solo is about breaking free without holding anything back. Entitled A Change in Me, it reflects how she has transformed as a dancer. “I have to allow myself to ‘go for it’ so to speak,” said Cheryl.

The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.