Oct 282009
Authors: Ashley Lauwereins

After a semester of hard work and weekly rehearsals, the only entirely student choreographed and produced dance show opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the University Dance Theatre located at the University Center for the Arts.

Unlike the other dance shows of the semester, the Student Dance Concert employs the work of students only.

“This show gives the audience an inside look at what we’re learning from the professors, what we’re creating and what we’re going to graduate with and put out into the community,” said Mackenzie Buffer, a student choreographer and director of the show.

Buffer, a senior dance and speech communication major, said this show always provides the audience with a wide variety of styles, adding that viewers should expect to see a contemporary ballet piece, several contemporary or modern pieces and a jazz piece, along with singing. Buffer also said to expect props in the dances.

Senior dance major Michelle Ruiz, who along with Buffer and two others direct the show, said any student can choreograph a piece for the show, which gives students the freedom to choose the dance style, the theme or mood of the piece, along with the music.

She said that while ballet is a popular style in Fort Collins, it is important to offer a show of this type because it provides different expressions to the community.

Both Buffer and Ruiz said each of their pieces stem from personal experiences: Buffer’s focusing on memories she’s had in college, and Ruiz’s focusing on overanalyzing.

Dancers often embrace these themes, as well as the movement, and make them their own. Sari Phillips, a junior dance and sociology major, said when a choreographer explains his or her ideas behind the dance, it changes the movement for the dancer.

“You have to look at each piece a different way,” Phillips said. “You try to think about what the choreographer wants and put yourself in a story.”

Thomas Phelan, a dancer and junior dance and psychology major, said while many of the dancers are modern, the ideas behind them are not very abstract, making it easy to relate and show emotion.

“This show is more self expressive,” Phelan said. “This show shows our personalities and creativity more, not just our technical skills.”

While some dances look easy, Phillips said it takes a lot of work and training to execute the dances they perform.

UCA Beat Reporter Ashley Lauwereins can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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