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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Fall dance concert hits the stage

On Dec. 7, the Grand Valley State University Dance Company will bring its Fall Dance Concert to the Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Performing Arts Center.

“The Fall Dance Concert is the product of our students’ hard work and dedication to the art of dance, perfecting their performance for their audience,” said Shawn Bible, dance coordinator and associate professor at GVSU.

While there is no theme to the concert, guest choreographers are commissioned from all over the U.S. to act as choreographers-in-residence.

GVL / Hannah Mico The Grand Valley Dance Company practices for their fall concert, coming up December 8.

“The company has been rehearsing for this performance since the first week of classes,” Bible said. “Each choreographer is given two weeks of rehearsal to set the dance on the cast and then several months of rehearsal afterwards to eliminate mistakes in the dance and work on the overall aesthetic.”

They work toward perfecting the style and character of each dance, he said.

Each semester, three guest choreographers are brought in to act as choreographers-in-residence. The guests are world-renowned dance professionals, and this semester, they include Amy O’Neal, whose work is a fusion of modern dance and hip-hop, and Eddy Ocampo, whose dances are very athletic, dramatic and based on contemporary modern dance.

The third choreographer-in-residence is Lauren Blane, a GVSU alumna. This is the first year an alumnus has been an in-residence choreographer, Bible said.

Blane graduated in 2010 with a degree in dance and went on to dance with Giordano Dance Chicago. Currently, she is performing in musicals throughout the Chicago area.

“Students are able to take part in the intimate act of dance making with some of the most exceptional choreographers in the world as well as our incredible faculty choreographers,” Bible said.

He added that the rehearsal process involves close interactions with other students to enrich the dancers and help develop life-long friendships and creative partnerships.

“Students are also able to engage with audiences in a kinesthetic way by sharing their interest in dance and performing it for others,” Bible said.

The music and dance faculty all audition dance company dancers and then set an original dance on the company.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the GVSU website ‘Event’ page.


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