Dance majors, minors choreograph Student Dance Festival


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Lily Martis

Fifteen student choreographers will present “The Light Within Us” at the BFA Senior Dance Concert and Student Dance Festival, providing a wide selection of dance forms ranging from modern to jazz.

The concert and festival will run March 14 – 16 in the Black Box Theatre located in the Center for the Performing Arts.

The concert and festival are divided into two parts. Program A will begin at 8 p.m. on March 14 with a meet-and-greet reception following the performances. Program A will continue at 2 p.m. on March 15, and Program B will begin at 8 p.m. on March 15 and 2 p.m. on March 16.

“The Light Within Us” presents 16 pieces of original choreography created by junior and seniors who are pursuing either a major or a minor within Kent State’s Dance Division.

“It’s Enough,” choreographed by Jennifer Ames, a senior dance major will start the festival.

Following is “Grey Areas,” which is choreographed by Katie Scekeres, a senior dance major, and BFA Student Director. This piece explores issues such as mental illness and drug abuse.

“My own choreography is athletic, and my movement is very strong and commanding,” Scekeres said. “It involves a lot of floor work and moving in and out of the floor quickly.”

“The concept behind ‘Grey Areas’ is overcoming a darkness one may be affected by,” said Claire Dieringer, a sophomore dance major, who will be dancing in this piece.

Next, “Side by Side; Miles Apart,” a duet choreographed by Shayna Fischer, a senior psychology major with minors in dance and communication studies, will be performed to “Home” by The Piano Guys.

“Stay On My Right,” choreographed by Emily Perrott, a senior dance studies and exercise physiology major, will follow.

“This piece of choreography is my so-called last dance at Kent,” Perrott said. “I took something very close to me and used my creative outlet to make it into a piece of art.”

“This piece came together in my head almost four years ago when my mother was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a cancer that begins in the eye,” Perrott said. “Her fight has only just begun, and we have grown into a kind of team that only a mother and daughter can achieve. In every possible way, I will always be the person on her right as we travel through this journey together.”

Upon graduation, Perrott will attend the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Physical Therapy in June 2015.

“I have learned a lot about myself over the past four years,” Perrott said, “and from a choreographic standpoint, this piece represents who I have turned into as an artist.”

Following Perrott will be “Acumen,” choreographed by Roberta Bailey, the SDF Student Director and a junior dance major.

“I wanted to create a piece that presented a genuine representation of the issues surrounding the acceptance of LGBT couples,” Bailey said. “Since this topic is such a big social issue of our time, I felt the need to create a dance to open the minds of others and encourage people to accept and give respect to other human beings.”

“Acumen” features four dancers performing to “Code Name Vivaldi” by The Piano Guys.

This performance will be Bailey’s debut in choreography. “Putting your movement on others is kind of intimidating and exhilarating at the same time,” Bailey said. “You get to see how other people use your movement on their bodies, and you get a new perspective on how you dance as an individual.”

In “Celestial Celebration,” Scekeres will also perform a solo entitled “Mars.” The piece is choreographed by Barbara Allegra Verlezza, an associate dance professor and Sabatino Verlezza, her husband.

“Trifecta,” choreographed by Nina Price, a senior dance major, will signal the start of Program B and will be Price’s debut in choreography for the Kent Dance Division.

“I titled my piece Trifecta because it represents the three dancers in my cast,” Price said. “The movements are very sharp and clear to expose the dynamic and strong techniques of the dancers in it.”

Price’s “Trifecta” of dancers will dance to “Explosive” by Bond and play with the choreographic tools of canons, contrast and weight sharing.

Following will be “Unspoken Secrets,” “Serenity,” “Please Don’t Go,” “Always There” and “The First Party.”

Closing the festival is “Insert Dolphin Sound Here (nomz)” choreographed by Marcia Custer a senior dance studies major, who is pursuing a BA in dance. This piece is an interplay between dance and theatre and is set to the music of Dan Deacon’s “Paddling Ghost.”

“I hope all the dancers feel positive about what they have accomplished,” Bailey said, “and the choreographers leave this experience with new knowledge and inspiration as they get to see their amazing works presented on stage for the first time.”

Contact Lily Martis at [email protected].