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Innovation drives annual production of 'Spring into Dance'
*Editor's note: The following story has been corrected to clarify that the piece "Liza Jane" was choreographed by Sydney Driscoll and performed by Asia Glenn.
Aerial dance routines are part of the innovations the Southeast department of dance has added to its annual Spring into Dance production. Ribbons will be suspended from the ceiling allowing dancers to flip, twirl and soar high above the stage below. Two aerial pieces will be featured along with five other varieties and styles of dance.
This year’s production will be freshman dance major Marissa Johnson’s, first performance as a dancer and aerialist at the college level.
“I have always wanted to try aerial dance, but never got the chance until this semester,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to believe that once I could hardly climb the silks, and now it feels like I’m flying.”
Johnson hopes the audience will be able to share in the thrill of her experience.
Hilary Peterson, assistant professor of dance, choreographed a number of the dances, including one of the aerial routines.
“Each (year) our concerts are different just because there is different material that has never been seen before, but what really makes this concert special is that it's the first time we’re presenting aerial dance,” Peterson said.
Peterson’s said the aerial dance she choreographed is blended with a contemporary dance on the stage below.
The second piece uses three apparatuses, two slings — which are similar to the silks — and a hoop that is also suspended in the air. This piece is much more about the aerial form and how those different apparatuses are working together.
Although the production involves a variety of styles, Peterson said each piece fits together as a whole. All of the work that is selected is choreographed by faculty and features students solo pieces.
“We do try to create a full, complete program that makes sense to the audience in terms of a variety of moods and music and styles,” said Peterson.
Senior dance major Sydney Driscoll is both a dancer and choreographer in this year’s production. She is in two faculty pieces and choreographed the solo piece “Liza Jane," performed by Asia Glenn.
“My favorite part about dancing in the concert is the versatility I get to experience from piece to piece,” Driscoll said. “There is an equal work ethic no matter the size of the piece. However I do think there’s more of a pressure on solo performers because there is no one around you to feel the piece with, which can be both fun and intimidating.”
Performances of “Spring into Dance” will take place in the Bedell Performance Hall at the Southeast River Campus April 4-7 at 7:30 p.m., and April 8 at 2 p.m.