Dancers find ‘Mutual Variance’

Elizabeth Myers

The festival features dances by 12 student choreographers and runs through the weekend. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

As sophomores in Dance Composition II last spring, a group of 12 girls started to look ahead. Now, as juniors, they get the chance to display their knowledge and skills by putting a dance concert together, known as the Student Dance Festival.

“We’ve been anticipating this for awhile,” said Nikki Cutone, student director of the show. “We’ve talked about this since last year.”

Each choreographer must put together a three- to five-minute dance with at least three dancers.

“Mostly we’re free to do whatever we want,” she said. Cutone, a junior dance performance major, is the only choreographer who chose to do a jazz piece. The other 11 pieces are modern dance.

After sitting down as a group, the students decided on “Mutual Variance” as the title of their show.

“It’s meant to show we are close-knit as a group, but still individual in our moving and thinking,” Cutone said.

Junior dance education major Karol Jackson-Bostick had a similar explanation of the seemingly oxymoronic title. “We are all very close,” she said, “but when we create, we’re different.”

Jackson-Bostick’s piece may be one of the most different in the concert. “It’s in complete silence,” she said. “The music is their body.”

Jackson-Bostick’s piece deals with the subject of domestic violence. She said the topic is something she has wanted to touch on because of witnessing abuse as a child, though she was not abused herself. She said the title of her piece, “Deep Within,” refers to the inner emotion of wanting to leave that type of situation, but simply not doing it.

Another choreographer who drew on personal experience is Jill Forster, junior dance education major.

“I am a swim instructor,” she said, “so I have always been intrigued by how you move in water.”

Forster’s piece, “Weight of Water,” first explores sinking deeper and deeper, then rising to the surface.

The choreographers stressed the close friendship they all share as one of the biggest parts of the SDF experience.

“We’re just a big group of friends who want to put on an awesome concert and be proud of each other,” Jackson-Bostick said

The Student Dance Festival opens in Wright-Curtis Theater tonight at 8 and has three more shows throughout the weekend: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for students, $14 for adults and are available at the Wright-Curtis Theater box office.

Contact performing arts reporter Elizabeth Myers at [email protected].