Undergraduate Dance Concert includes 12 original pieces

BY GRACE HAERR | MAY 07, 2015 5:00 AM

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Moving beyond your comfort zone is a hard but important part of both learning choreography and artistry. In this year’s Undergraduate Dance Concert, students are challenged to do just that.

University of Iowa undergraduate students will perform a dozen original dance pieces in a concert held today, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m. in North Hall’s Space/Place.

Senior choreographer Katie Skinner used this for her solo piece, “A short long story.”

“I have a hard time picking music, and I don’t like listening to myself talk so I have a voiceover of myself in it,” she said.

Nearly 40 individuals with solo projects, duets, and group performances choreographed by students go through the adjudication process, and only 12 are chosen to be in the final show.

Three faculty members make up the judging panel.

“They change every year,” junior choreographer Emily Medd said. “It’s nice to switch it up.”

This year’s panel includes Visiting Professor from New York Nicholas Leichter, along with UI faculty members Kristin Marrs and Charlotte Adams.

“Not everyone goes into the adjudication process to be in the show; sometimes, you just want feedback from faculty, sometimes, it’s to show the piece because no one may ever see it, and it was worked on for the whole semester,” Medd said. “The feedback is very helpful.”

She said the process of creating her dance piece “Awake in Time” is a mixture of collaboration and thoughtful preparation.

“I started with material I came up with in choreography class; at first, I had three dancers, she said. “I added more people and from there tied in the theme of life and things going on around us.”

For Skinner’s second piece, “S2:E3 four lines and a curve,” she created an alternate world in which her four dancers play with conventional expectations.

“It’s a group piece that started as part of a creative research project I’ve been working on; we talk about seeing and being seen and how in a frontal world you’re much more vulnerable,” Skinner said.

This is Skinner’s third time going through the adjudication process and it is the third time her piece has made it to the final show.

“Music … It is one example how to tie things together,” she said.

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