Seniors project to bring dance to life

Jenna Gerling

For their senior project, graduating dance performance students will use dance to explore life.

The students produced, choreographed and directed the concert, “Transitional Phases,” which will be performed at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday in the Kiva.

The concert will feature a performance choreographed by Kent State dance instructor Erin Smith and guest hip-hop dance artists Final Destination and IllStyle Rockers.

Kent Lucas, Megan McCrary, Brittney Benson and Erica Smith, the four dance performance seniors graduating this December, have different takes on their senior projects.

“I think it would be great if students could see the variety of dance styles that will be in the show,” Smith said. “We are all performing modern dance, but with all of our different backgrounds in dance . we each bring something different to it.”

Smith’s performance, “Trilogies,” is about coincidences in life that have to do with the number three.

“Things in life seem to come in threes — like birth, life and death,” Smith said. “I’ve always wanted to do something with numbers and dance, and show the relationship between numbers and life.”

In her piece “Carpe Diem,” Benson explores another take on life.

“It’s basically about how every person goes through their everyday routine of life, not knowing who may be in the car next to them,” Benson said. “That person might be someone that . could change their lives totally — who could become a really important figure in their lives later down the road.”

In “Idle Chatter,” McCrary focuses on the themes of childhood and adulthood.

“The whole concept is to juxtapose adult behavior and child behavior,” McCrary said, adding that the dancers in her performance start out as children, with roles such as a bully and an outcast, and within three different sections of the piece, grow into adults.

Lucas’s piece has no specific direction, but is open for the audience to interpret.

“‘at tHe BRink of.’ is very open to interpretation of the concept,” Lucas said. “It is basically for the audience to pick up (on) their own, (whether) it’s at the brink of death or something that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

“A lot of (the movement is) very suspenseful and aggressive … and hopefully that draws the audience in to that, and to keep them at the brink of — whatever.”

In addition to “at tHe BRink of.” Lucas will be performing with his dance group Final Destination, which focuses on popping and locking, a style of hip-hop dance.

“There are a lot of people out there who say they’re hip-hop and they’re really not,” Smith said. “But IllStyle Rockers and (Final Destination) really show true hip-hop culture.”

Contact performing arts reporter Jenna Gerling at [email protected].

• Tickets are $8 for students under 18 or with an ID, $10 for senior citizens, and $12 for adults. To reserve tickets, call (330) 338-2695.