GVSU Fall Dance Concert features help from guest artists

By Marissa LaPorte | 12/6/15 4:15pm

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GVL / Sara Carte The Grand Valley Dance Company rehearses for their fall dance concert at the Performing Arts Center in the Louis Armstrong Theatre on Dec. 4.

by Sara Carte / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Pairs of eyes throughout the audience were glued to the dancers as they tip-toed, leapt and spun across the stage. However, these types of performances cannot be seen on popular television shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars."

Carrie Morris, an assistant professor of dance at Grand Valley State University, said she hopes the audience was able to see different dances that they may not be used to, experience what the dance program at GVSU is up to and see what its students can do.

Sara Carte

GVL / Sara Carte The Grand Valley Dance Company rehearses for their fall dance concert at the Performing Arts Center in the Louis Armstrong Theatre on Dec. 4.

Sara Carte

GVL / Sara Carte The Grand Valley Dance Company rehearses for their fall dance concert at the Performing Arts Center in the Louis Armstrong Theatre on Dec. 4.

Sara Carte

GVL / Sara Carte The Grand Valley Dance Company rehearses for their fall dance concert at the Performing Arts Center in the Louis Armstrong Theatre on Dec. 4.

Two free public showings of the 2015 Fall Dance Concert were held in the Louis Armstrong Theatre on Dec. 5 and 6. In order to make the Fall Dance Concert possible, three guest choreographers were brought to work directly with GVSU’s dance students.

Josh Manculich, who acted as guest choreographer for GVSU’s Fall Dance Concert, said he ended up learning from the students as well as sharing his own knowledge with them.

“At Grand Valley (students) have that potential to just try on other people’s movements really professionally and maturely,” Manculich said. “People are excited to find their groove in movement. Some students let the movement speak for itself. Movement can speak to an audience just like words can. The dance department is really striving to foster and emerge great, young performers and choreographers. It excites me that I was able to come and be a part of that.”

Amy Rose, another guest choreographer for the Fall Dance Concert, said she typically teaches adults and teenagers and that teaching college-level students was a new experience for her.

“(The students) are at a certain level and there’s a different maturity that they have (compared) to teenagers,” Rose said.

Rose said she enjoyed the whole collaboration process and GVSU dance students were quick to pick up on what she was teaching. She said that while teaching these students, she felt as if what she said resonated with them, which was a wonderful experience for her.

GVSU’s dance program aims to build a network of resources that dance students can use for their future careers.

“What sets Grand Valley apart from other dance programs is the opportunity to work with guest stars,” Morris said.

Manculich said he is not too far from where GVSU’s dance students are now in their performing.

“I was once an undergrad dance major, and still being a young dancer myself, I was able to enjoy creating a work with (the students),” Manculich said. “Just being able to ease their minds and (make) a fun work (was rewarding).”

A senior dance concert will take place at GVSU’s Performing Arts Center Room 1600 on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. For more information about the program, visit www.gvsu.edu/dance.

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