Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast River Campus brings diverse music to the annual Fall for Dance

Monday, November 11, 2019
Soloist J'Nae Howard dancing to a piece in Fall for Dance
Photo submitted by Hilary Peterson

Southeast’s River Campus will take audiences on a journey by presenting its annual Fall for Dance performance on Nov. 14to 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Looking to bring a sense of holiday spirit, the performance will include pieces of holiday classics.

“We have a ballet variation in the concert, which is the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker, and that’s just a holiday favorite and classic,” Artistic Coordinator Hilary Peterson said. “It’s a short number, but I think that just brings a holiday spirit and lightness to the concert.”

The variation of music added to the performance is significant. Peterson said two pieces of music will be presented with live music performed by musician Christopher Wilson playing the marimba, a deep toned xylophone of African origin

Collaborations for this year’s Fall for Dance program consists of students, faculty and guest choreographer Kristopher Estes-Brown.

“His piece will be closing Act I, it's got 13 dancers in it, huge work, numerous sections and it’s just beautiful,” Peterson said. “He is a professional choreographer and the work he has done on our dancers is phenomenal.”

Just like many performances, there is a big picture, and the different styles of dance choreographers bring has helped encompass the vision for the annual performance.

“I teach modern and jazz. Our other choreographer, Philip Edgecombe, choreographs in modern contemporary and his work is always so physical, and just the physicality brings a lot of diversity,” Peterson said. “Our two ballet instructors are very different choreographers, and I think the diversity of the faculty really demonstrates what we’ve got going on and brings the whole concert together.”

Audience responses are important when thinking through what should be performed.

Peterson said whether or not they know the pieces of music, audiences are going to feel some type of connection because they feel ‘very of the moment’.

“I think the way we programmed the concerts and really think thoughtfully about the journey we want to take our audience on, they really respond to that,” Peterson said.

One piece that will be presented is based on present ideas that we are dealing with in our society called Rank and File, choreographed by Edgecombe.

“It is a police reference,” Peterson said. “For me as an audience member watching the piece, it touches on a little bit of the struggle that can happen between police and community.”

Edgecombe painted the picture of the piece.

“It’s a group of 10 dancers, and it’s quite physical,” Edgecombe said. “It starts in a more abstract place, and then it proceeds into the third section and it’s kind of militaristic in a way. The movement itself is really physical, the dancers are making a lot of lines because they are stepping into a rank and file.”

Edgecombe said he had been inspired by the grassroots movements that have been happening in the world and believes the piece expresses those ideas.

Because much time and effort have been put into making a performance like this, favorite moments and experiences tend to be apparent.

“I really love being in the studio,” Edgecombe said. “My favorite part is once I’ve kind of gotten what the dancers are doing and haven’t really staged them in places yet, I get to place them in formations and have this moving sculpture aspect.”

Tickets may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, by calling (573) 651-2265, or online at