While the Music and Theatre Arts Department has performed many concerts at the Pablo Center at the Confluence this year, the department is looking forward to its first dance concert in its new performance space. Ariella Brown, lecturer of dance who has been at the university for two years, said, “If anything, I’m excited to see what the space has to offer and what we can do going forward.” Brown believes it is important for dance students to have an opportunity to perform, and it is a way to involve students in choreography as well as performing. The concerts, which will be the same both nights, will include multiple short pieces, two choreographed by Brown, eight by students, and one by Amy VanKirk, a guest choreographer.
Elizabeth Schwab, a senior kinesiology major, has been dancing for eighteen years, the last four with UW-EC’s Dance Program. Her piece, “Deep Blue Duluth,” will be one of the pieces showcased on the program. It was originally a solo work, but for this event she converted it to a group dance, which will include Schwab and three others. The piece draws from a poem by one of her friends, as well as the song, “Transformations,” by Sleeping at Last. Schwab says, “Dance helps me forget about all my stressors and allows me to express myself in a way that words can’t.” For Schwab, UW-EC has been a place for her to grow as an individual dancer and to learn from supportive and skilled instructors. Many of the students in the upcoming dance concert are pursuing a Certificate in Dance Activities, but all the dance courses at UW-EC are open to everyone. Some dance courses even meet Liberal Education requirements that all students must have to graduate.