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Senior performances to highlight Choreographers' Showcase

By Cheryl Jones
University News Service
July 10, 2007


  Choreographer's Showcase will include a fusion of tap and modern dance styles.

The Choreographers’ Showcase will be held Aug. 2-3 at Texas State University-San Marcos. Sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance, the performance will be held in Jowers Hall, studio 178, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5.

Eighteen pieces will be performed that feature a range of different styles. The formal production is part of the advanced choreography course offered to seniors at Texas State. This course is one of the last requirements before a student can graduate.

In the past, a choreographers’ showcase was performed during the fall and spring so Michelle Nance, an assistant professor in the dance department and coordinator of the event, does not know how the new date will impact the show.

“It is always good to expose oneself to artistic expression in any form or style whenever possible.  Dance is the most direct human art form. The materials that make up a piece of choreography are the human body, mind and spirit,” Nance said. “Hopefully, the audience will take away with them a new feeling, a new perspective, or new idea about themselves.”

The dance department is a supportive environment for students--it can be fun but it also can be very straining and, according to Nance, people tend to under-estimate how time consuming it can be.

“Dance is hard. Our dancers are required to do all the same things as every other university student, but in addition, they spend long evenings and weekends rehearsing in the studio, often for no class credit,” Nance said.

Students are accepted into the dance department regardless of their knowledge in the area. Every dancer is given the opportunity to find their niche. Whether it is performing, choreographing, teaching, administrating or research, the student is able to decide.

“We are also a very unique program because our modern dance courses focus on the Erick Hawkins Dance Technique, founded in the 1950’s by one of the great American dance pioneers.  The technique is focused on maintaining the dancer’s body, so that one can perform for a long time,” Nance said.

Each student concert is unique in that it consists of the student’s own personal exploration, said Nance. So for students looking to find some unique outlooks, the choreographer’s showcase is a way to find it.