Annual thesis dance concert begins today


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Click here to view an exclusive photo slideshow.

(opens in new window)

Like her pathway to dance, the movement in University of Iowa student Ali Ordman’s choreographed piece “Individualine” came about by chance.

After searching for a symbolic message behind the dance, she decided to simply highlight the performers’ artistic style, allowing the audience members to develop their own interpretations.

“I started to really trust the dancer and embody the movement in terms of space and timing,” Ordman said. “When something worked, I said, ‘Let’s keep it.’ ”

At 8 p.m. today, the student choreographer will watch her piece along with nine other diverse dances at the annual fall graduate/undergraduate thesis concert. The show will continue through Saturday in North Hall’s Space/Place. Admission is $12 for general admission, $6 for senior citizens, and free for students with valid UI IDs.

The graduate/undergraduate thesis concert is special for Ordman — in addition to directing this year, it was her first performance at the UI.

Unlike her first dance — a ballet consisting of controlled movements and a serious tone — Ordman wanted a more fluid concept. By using repetitive electronic music and simple form-fitting clothing, the piece focuses on the formal medium of dance.

Finding a strict pattern for her creative vision proved to be challenging.

“I just needed to follow my own instincts and trust that people would find something interesting in it,” she said.

She presented the piece in front of a panel of three faculty members, who chose the most prominent features and worked to create stronger dynamics.

“We try to name whatever is screaming to be expressed for a student and enhance that,” said dance Associate Professor Rebekah Kowal.

Besides choreographing, Ordman will perform in Samantha Cremer’s “No Mood for Morning Pancakes.” While “Individualine” reflects the more formal medium of dance, Cremer’s piece takes on a comic portrayal of a one-night stand.

“I find elements of humor in the way the dancers relate to one another and the kind of symbolism in our actions,” Ordman said. “The movement is fun to execute.”

The lead couple in “No Mood for Morning Pancakes” use their movements to act out an argument, asking whether there will be time for pancakes the next day. Dancing to Janis Joplin’s “Maybe,” students pair up in groups of two, acting as the backup dancers in the narrative.

“A lot of pieces have serious tones,” Kowal said. “This is a fun way to end the evening.”

While choreographing proved to be challenging, Ordman is anxious to see the finished dance on stage.

“At the end of the day, you and your dancers have to be happy with your product,” she said. “I am definitely excited to see it on stage.”

> Share your thoughts! Click here to write a Letter to the Editor.

comments powered by Disqus

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.