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‘Body Works’ to showcase eclectic student performances

Submitted by Sarah DeClerk on April 18, 2013 – 11:51 amNo Comment

The UALR theatre and dance department will showcase fresh choreography and an array of dance styles this month at “Body Works,” its spring dance concert.

The concert will be held at the Center for Performing arts April 19 through 21 at 8 p.m., with another show on April 22 at 2:30 p.m.. Tickets cost $5 for students and general admission is $7.

The showcase will consist of two acts with four pieces each and a 15-minute intermission, totaling about two hours. It will feature original pieces choreographed by seniors Ali Herring and Sydney Ippolito as well as faculty members Rhythm McCarthy, Stephen Thibeault and Stephen K. Stone,  the concert’s director and assistant professor in the department of theatre and dance. In addition, Ballet Arkansas will perform Thibeault’s “American Dream” every day except Thursday. Stone said the concert will primarily be celebrating the two student works, which were evaluated at the American College Dance Festival in February.

Auditions were held at the end of the fall 2012 semester and rehearsals began in spring. According to Stone, some choreographers started thinking of ideas months or years in advance, with him beginning work on his own piece last summer.

The concert will feature everything from contemporary dance to neoclassical ballet. One of the modern pieces includes a large, moving sculpture with which dancers interact. Stone’s own work is based on “Chicago” and features live vocals and transition monologues; it also includes theater, dance and music majors.

“No two pieces are anything alike,” he said. “There’s quite an array of different designs.”

Stone also said the concert provides a vital performance opportunity for dance students, adding that it also gives the department an opportunity to connect with the UALR and outside communities.

“Students should come to the concert because events like this concert are the extension of the core curriculum,” Stone said. “Seeing art is the next natural step to learning about it beyond the classroom.”

“It’s good for the department to have a showcase to show people we really are taking great strides for as young as [the program] is,” said Emily Karnes, 22, a senior dance major, who added that the program was the main reason she came to UALR.

“I think a lot of people don’t know any kind of dance besides what they see in music videos and on dance contest TV shows,” she said. “This will help them see that there are other styles of dance,” she said.

She added that the concert could inspire younger dancers and show them what they have to look forward to.

“If you come to one concert, you’ll be hooked,” Karnes said. “You’ll definitely want to keep coming back for more.”


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