Fifteen original student dance works will be premiered April 23-24 as the University of South Carolina dance program presents its spring Student Choreography Showcase at Drayton Hall Theatre.
Show time is at 2pm for both performances. Admission is $15 for students, $20 for UofSC faculty/staff, military, and seniors 60+, and $22 for the public. Tickets may be purchased online at sc.universitytickets.com. Drayton Hall Theatre is located at 1214 College St., across from the historic UofSC Horseshoe. In accordance with university safety protocols, masks are no longer required indoors but are encouraged for all patrons.
The bi-annual Student Choreography Showcase stems from an upper-level course dedicated to supporting the artistic voices of student choreographers in a collaborative environment. Course instructor Olivia Waldrop, who is also directing the concert, says there are several “in-process” showings of the works during the semester, during which dancers and other choreographers can give productive feedback on each piece.
“It’s important not only for the choreographers but also for the dancers to see what it’s like to create a piece,” says Waldrop. “It’s easy to romanticize what goes into creating a composition, so when you try to create something for the first time you can feel like you’re doing it wrong if it doesn’t feel like magic.”
“One thing I’m really proud of is that the dancers and choreographers have created a community for dialogue,” she says. “It takes a lot of trust to be able to show your work and get feedback, but that trust exists because everyone is there for the right reasons.”
Choreographers also get an education in the technical aspects of staging their creations, working with UofSC dance production manager Eric Morris and two graduate-level lighting design students. “Eric has a huge role in mentoring the students,” Waldrop says. “Since many of these students are new to the process, he plays an integral role in facilitating conversations between choreographers and lighting designers.”
Creating works for the concert are Logan Acker, Lydia Acker, Emily Arnold, Joseph Boyd, Addie Browne, Amy Chan, Katie Connell, Julia Dunne, Kelsey Gaydos, Adele Grohovsky, Ellery Jernigan, Sofia Justo, Ellie Kumer, Natalie Long, Cami Surro, and Sarah Ullery. Student lighting designers are Isaiah Jensen and Lorna Young.
Each of the fifteen pieces are limited to five minutes and represent a wide variety of styles, from ballet to contemporary and even one filmed “screendance” piece.
“We have a couple of avant-garde pieces, some that lean into storytelling,” says Waldrop. “There are works that are happy and joyful, works that are serious, works that are quirky. It’s sort of a sampler platter of new voices in dance, which makes it really exciting to see.”
For more information on the Student Choreography Showcase or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.