Dancing through the recession

Ashley Sepanski

Performance focuses on hardships

Kent State dance students practice for Dance ’09: Dancing on a Dime on Wednesday evening in E. Turner Stump Theater. Shaye A. Painter | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

With economic hardships in mind, the School of Theatre and Dance opens Dance ’09: Dancing on a Dime tonight.

The yearly performance is composed of faculty-choreographed pieces interpreted by roughly 40 dance students.

Artistic Director Andrea Shearer said creating the show took all semester; auditions took place the second week of school.

“There is no script, every dance is created from scratch and rehearsed roughly two times a week for about an hour and a half to two hours,” Shearer said. “The pieces grow and evolve, and that happens slowly.”

DANCE ’09:


• When: 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, 2 p.m. Sunday

• Where: E. Turner Stump Theatre, Music and Speech Center

• Tickets: $8 for students, $16 for adults

Sophomore dance major Jordan Deckert said the dancers are eager to get out of the studio and onto the stage.

“It’s just exciting because we’ve been working so hard,” Deckert said. “I’m just excited for (people) to see what I’ve been working on this whole time, and I think that people will really like the show because it’s so diverse.”

Shearer said despite the economic theme, the concert will display a wide variety of performances. Works include associate professor Kim Karpanty’s “WAKE”, a piece about dream states that was inspired by dancers’ actual dreams, and assistant professor Erin LaSala’s “64-19 Metropolitan Avenue.”

Jessica Dickey, senior dance education and English major, said LaSala’s piece revolves around a family.

“We’re a mother, father and two sisters,” Dickey said. “Basically you see our inner actions throughout the piece and how we connect with each other, don’t connect and our relationships within the family.”

Shearer’s piece, “TBD” or To Be Determined, will involve musical accompaniment from the audience and improvisation.

“There’s going to be live music, the dancers will be color coordinated and we will assign the audience a dancer and certain sounds to make whenever their dancer moves,” Shearer said.

“They’ll do things like hand clapping, jingling their car keys or ruffling their programs. The different sounds will then play back and forth and hopefully get the audience more active.”

Sticking more closely to the main concept, Deckert and Dickey said they are both performing in assistant professor Barbara Verlezza’s “News Blues.”

Deckert said Verlezza’s piece displays newspaper boys selling papers that progressively contain worse news.

“It’s all about the stock market crash,” Deckert said. “We’re all kind of sad because we have no money, and the news keeps getting worse ,and then by the end of it we’re happy because we just get rid of the newspaper.”

Deckert said every piece is different. The performance is a combination of each faculty member’s vision and style.

“Since there’s so many different kinds of pieces, I feel like people will be able to pick something they really enjoyed,” Deckert said. There’s something for everyone.”

Contact performing arts reporter Ashley Sepanski at [email protected].