Spring Dance Concert shows diversity with guest choreographers
For the Spring Dance Concert, world-renowned choreographers Julie Blume and Charles Askegard joined with GVSU professor Shaun Bible to try and create a diverse art show onstage.
The two performances on March 22 and 23 are the second recitals Blume, a former principal dancer in the Parsons Dance Company in New York, has choreographed at GVSU.
This is the first time Askegard, a former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and the New York Ballet Company, has worked with GVSU.
“It is just so nice having the guest artists because it’s just something new, and it is just something that can inspire you,” said senior dancer Jesse Powers. “Or make you work harder and push you, like to dance differently just because they have such a different background then what we are use to ‘cause it is their first time being here, they are not our normal faculty.”
Bible said the diversity of this show makes it unique from other university recitals.
“Some dance concerts in universities focus on one kind of dance, so they are either a ballet program or they are a modern program or they are a world dance program and that sort of thing, jazz dance program,” Bible said. “And so what we try to do with our show is we try to provide a diverse range of dances. In our concerts you will see our dancers doing classical ballet and we will also do contemporary ballet which is very different, and they will also do modern dance and they will also do jazz and contemporary.”
With the world of professional dance changing to accommodate a variety of styles, Powers said having a diverse show lets them experience the change.
“Especially now, now-a-days companies just do all types of genres because people don’t want to see the same thing over and over,” Powers said. “They want to have a variety so that they’re entertained in different aspects of dance.”
The dance program tries to encourage those from outside the program, or who are unfamiliar with dance, to see the show.
“Students should attend this show to see how talented their fellow students are,” Bible said. “I think it is incredible when I am at the dance concerts and I hear people, you know, other GVSU students that come to the show because we get a lot of non-dance people to come. When they do come they are always overwhelmed at how talented the dancers are in the dance program at Grand Valley. We really are, state-wide, one of the top performing dance programs.”
The students began preparing the show at the beginning of the year. As the end nears, senior dancer Karley Doner said everything seems very bitter sweet, but she is looking forward to a specific dance.
“I think my favorite for this concert is called ‘Yours and Mine,’” Doner said. “…I guess the piece is about just enjoying time with, like, with friends and with close family.”
She said it was an exciting experience to work with Blume, who choreographed the piece, and she’s excited to perform it.
Both shows are free and begin at 8 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre inside the Performing Arts Center. For more information call 616-331-3484.
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