Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Fall for Dance returns to River Campus

Monday, November 13, 2017

Autumn is in full swing on Southeast’s campus, and Fall for Dance is here again.

The annual event from the River Campus Conservatory of Theatre and Dance will begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 through 18 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall.

Assistant professor of dance and dance drea coordinator Hilary Peterson said since the event’s inaugural year in 2009, the faculty has changed and there is a new energy in the concert.

Photo by Josh Dodge

“There’s more ballet choreography, but it’s technically proficient contemporary ballet that just rounds out the concert and gives it more variety. I think audiences will continue to be impressed by the level of technique of our dancers,” Peterson said.

The concert features original compositions that include a West African-style dance by guest composer and artist-in-residence Julie Bata and another called “From Alien Eyes,” composed by the participating dancers in collaboration with Southeast faculty member Philip Edgecombe.

Peterson said something different can be expected from all nine pieces in the concert.

“Each choreographer gets [his or her] own voice. Each piece is its own story, its own start-to-finish idea. So with more variety, the audiences doesn't get stuck. You may not love the entire thing but you’re going to leave with something you loved,” Peterson said.

There are about 30 dancers participating in the concert. They auditioned this August — 12 weeks out from the show’s premiere.

Sophomore Peyton Cope said she has been rehearsing 11 to 12 hours a week, but through it she has found new passion and dedication for dance.

“It’s such an eclectic grouping of styles of dance that you’re going to walk in and get everything you can imagine and more. There’s literally something for everyone. The caliber of dancers here is something the community should support,” Cope said.

Peterson said the composition process can take a number of routes.

“You start with a piece of music, and from the music comes the structure and the idea, a little bit of the movement; sometimes the narrative comes from the music,” she said.

The show offers ballet, contemporary, jazz, African, tap and Pointe-style dances, along with a variety of music. Peterson said one of her compositions makes use of an ’80s-esque electronica track.

“That music inspired my movement vocabulary and then from there the narrative came across. Some steps exist in the history of the form, ballet history goes back centuries — it's just how the choreographer works them together and maybe inserts a nuanced idea,” Peterson said.

The show opens Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the River Campus. Tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the River Campus Box Office.