Modern, hip-hop and ballet were some of the styles that were put on display for the 2018 Spring Senior Faculty Dance Concert. All the hours and years of hard work paid off for the dancers as many of them gave their farewell performance to the Wittenberg community.
The spring dance concert has been going on for 33 semesters and gives seniors the opportunity to showcase their talents one last time. Over 25 student dancers performed 11 pieces for the concert that took place from April 26 to 28 at Chakeres Memorial Theater. Directed by Shih-Ming Li Chang, associate professor of dance, many of the songs the dancers performed ranged from “Sweet Disposition” by Temper Trap to “Son de la Negra” by Mariachi Vargas.
Seniors choreographing the pieces are a unique feature for Wittenberg’s dance program. Planning for the concert and dances begins early in the semester because it requires a lot of time, organization, creativity and vision to pull together a show as successful and popular as the spring dance concert.
“I love being able to choreograph my own pieces,” Maggie Mullens, ‘18, said. “Coming up with the dances can be very difficult at times, but it’s fun and exciting to see the whole piece come together. I like to showcase the dancers in my pieces because they’re so talented and I love having them show off their strengths.”
Overall, there were seven different senior choreographers who held auditions and then selected the dancers that they wanted to have participate in their piece, holding practices once a week. The last week dancers have up/downs, where they have a half hour practice every day for each piece. Finally, they have three dress rehearsals the week before performing, having sold out three shows.
The eruption of excitement that came from the audience following the performance of “Chase Life,” choreographed by Kylie Ponn, ’18, made it clear that this was the crowd’s favorite dance on opening night. The nine dancers put on a beautiful display of passion that showed off the modern style of dance. The dance served as a tribute to Chase Gage, a former Wittenberg student who passed away in May of 2015.
The next dance that seemed to be a crowd favorite was “Phases,” also choreographed by Ponn. The eight dancers portrayed several different styles of dance: hip-hop, modern, ballet and tap. It began with each dancer showing off their own style that is unique to them. The groups danced across the stage until coming together and blending their styles into one unified piece of art.
The excitement then carried over to the next dance choreographed by Mecca Adbul-Aziz, ‘18, called “A Mix of Hip,” which featured her having a dance battle against Daniel Lofton, ‘18.
Spin after spin, twirl after twirl and dance after dance, the enthusiastic crowtd of over 100 people let the dancers know that they were doing a great job with cheers, applause and encouraging words shouted throughout the show.