This May, Pacific University’s Theatre and Dance department presents this year’s Choreographers Informal.
This dance showcase will feature works in progress and pieces that students have been working on in the Choreography I and II courses. There is no strict theme for the dances, so there will be a wide range of dance styles throughout the program.
“It is giving us an opportunity to create a work and show it on stage to an audience without it being a very large event,” said sophomore Lianda Lonergan.
For nearly every student in the course, this is their first time planning choreography. Guided by dance faculty and costume and lighting designers, the class works as a stepping stone for young dancers on their way to the professional world of choreography.
This choreography course is meant to give students a taste of the process of building an entire dance piece, including choreography, lighting, and costume.
“There was a lot of emphasis on making sure that your costume and lighting choices were very deliberate, and they mean something,” said Lianda.
Students were encouraged to think about every aspect of their piece and how it contributes to the meaning and story that they aim to portray.
“It is been one of the biggest challenges for me since I have been here studying dance at Pacific,” said Lianda. “Just because it really makes you think about every movement.”
The choreographers do not get to explain their stories to the audience with words; they are challenged with the goal of getting their point across strictly through movement.
“It is nice to be taking a class in choreography because you have your peers around that give you feedback, and that feedback process is invaluable to the whole experience,” said Lianda.
For senior Victoria Perez, choreography gives insight into a person’s life. “As students, we are used to people telling us what we are supposed to be absorbing and what we are seeing and what we are experiencing,” said Perez, “but we encourage people to come along on this ride with us into a nonverbal world where we are going to try and communicate a story or maybe a glimpse into someone’s life.”
The show will feature exclusively student work; there will be nothing choreographed by any guest artists or faculty.
Featured dances will range from three to six minutes. There will be two group dances, and the rest will be solos and duets.
The Choreographers Informal will be held in the Tom Miles Theatre in Warner Hall on May 3 at 5 p.m. Admission is free.