Dancers switch roles

BY JENNIFER HOCH | MAY 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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In an attempt to exchange experiences, UI dance students will swap their roles from performers to choreographers at this year's Undergraduate Concert.

The concert will showcase 14 pieces choreographed by undergraduate dance majors at 8 p.m. today in North Hall's Space/Place. Performances will continue through Saturday. Admission is free for UI students with valid IDs, $6 for seniors and youth, and $12 for the general public.

Kathryn L. Skinner choreographed the piece "Crosswords" for the performance, featuring UI senior Lauren Linder. Skinner said the solo work is an exploration of our education system — why we have an education system, what it's like, and the importance of what schools teach.

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She said she chose to use books as props for the piece and originally envisioned using just one. Skinner then realized that by using only a single book, the work could not encompass all of the statements she wanted to make.

"The common thread is a shift of how the education can be seen through the eyes of everybody, not just trying to speak our own opinions," Skinner said. "Balance is a major component. We wanted to keep it open and not just look at the education system in a single way. We tried to create a happy medium."

UI senior Alee Ronchetto choreographed "Resolve," which is a showcase of the struggles and hardships students encounter during college and ways they are able to cope through them.

Ronchetto said the piece investigates the most common frustrations and challenges college students have, such as finances, homesickness, academics, relationships, and plans, which were all used as inspiration for the piece.

"The five dancers of this piece helped immensely to collaborate and contribute," Ronchetto said. "It was very interesting being on the choreographer's side of things to design the staging, lighting, costuming and see what all goes into producing a piece."

"Gli Oroscopi," is the first piece Dakota Gonzales has choreographed for the university. He said in his experience, the dancers were very enthusiastic and always willing to work with what he gave them.

"As a dancer, although you can collaborate with the choreographer, it's different when you're the one in charge making the demands and directing," Gonzalez said. "Doing this made me realize how much I take choreographers for granted. There are so many facets that go into making a dance."

UI dance Professor Armando Duarte helped select the works for the concert. He said the production is very colorful in terms of aesthetics and among the 40 submissions, the 14 selected are some of the best representations of the students' creativity.

"The faculty help to foster the students' visions on the stage," he said. "The students present their works, and we give feedback to strengthen the quality of the piece, giving guidance for the final touch." 

When: 8 p.m. today through Saturday
Where: North Hall's Space/Place
Admission: Free for UI students with valid IDs, $6 for seniors and youth, $12 general public

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