Junior and seniors choreograph pieces for dance festival

Brooke Bower

KentWired Video

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Kent State junior and senior choreographers will have their work showcased at the BFA Senior Dance Concert and Student Dance Festival Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“The audience is going to see some things that are humorous, some that are a little sad and another that is triumphant,” said Joan Meggitt, faculty artistic director of Student Dance Festival.

Katherine Naso, Amanda Black and Tamara Landry, senior dance performance and choreography majors, will dance in guest choreographer Richard Brandon Hall’s piece, “The Encounter with Angels.” Each senior will be presenting a piece they choreographed at the beginning of all four shows.

Naso said her piece, “Caught in Limbo,” is about a couple who is faced with a decision regarding their lives. She said she based it off her personal experience with her boyfriend of two years. She said he will still be in school after she graduates, but he wants her to be able to move and pursue her career, which means they face a tough life decision.

“I wanted to leave the piece open-ended because it can relate to any couples facing different paths,” Naso said. “The lighting director I was assigned was telling me how he can relate to the piece since his wife is in the military in New York and he is here.”

After the seniors present, the festival will follow. The 13 students are split into two programs.

LaRonica Southerland, junior dance performance and choreography major, dedicated the piece she choreographed to her brother Ronald Southerland Jr. She said he was killed in a car accident seven months ago and wanted to create her piece, “A Dream for You,” in his memory.

“The piece is dreams put together with symbols of crying, sorrow and pain,” Southerland said. “In the piece you want a release from the dream, which is really reality. You want to escape it, but you can’t.”

She said the music for “A Dream for You” is original, created by Alexis Sobleski, her friend and a sophomore music major. Southerland said the music is like a lullaby, but in the middle there is a hard string section “that helps indicate facing reality is the nightmare.”

“It’s like my baby,” Southerland said. “It’s been a rough process full of tears and happiness, but my cast has helped me get through it. I’m just really happy I had the opportunity to let my voice be heard.”

Meggitt said there is a depth of emotion that you can see in the “beautiful line and sense of flow” in “A Dream for You.” She said there is a lot of contrast between Southerland’s piece and the humorous piece Sabatino Verlezza, junior dance performance and choreography major, choreographed.

Verlezza, who is also the student director of the Student Dance Festival, said his piece is about growing up with two parents who are dancers. He said he uses seven dancers to “poke fun at growing up in the studio.” He said his piece was chosen by the faculty to be presented at the American College Dance Festival at the University of Akron next week.

“I’ve seen some great dancing, and the students have worked remarkably hard,” Meggitt said. They have some very impressive work to show for it.”

Contact Brooke Bower at [email protected].