Dance Majors’ Move the Audience

Misha Khan

The night began with dancers feet in ballet shoes and bodies clad in pretty pink dresses moving gracefully across the stage. Their steps were quick, smooth and very well synchronized. The music they were dancing to was slow and relaxing to the ears and their movements were captivating. Thus began the first night of the Fall Dance Concert in Swisher Theatre Nov. 18. The concert also took place November 19 and 20, at 7:30p.m.

The choreographers for the show were Cari Coble, Jennifer Muller, Brian Palmer, Scott Putman, Jerry Opdenaker, Takeherio Ueyama and Andre Megerdichian, while Allison Steadman designed the costumes for all the dancers.

Everything about the show, from the lighting to the sound mix, from the costumes to the props, was perfect. However, all of this came second to the remarkable performances by each of the dancers. The show consisted of a total of eight sets including one duet and one solo performance.

Olivia Lou Jordan and Jared Koceja did a contemporary “Lovers” duet with just the right chemistry and moves. The set that received the most applause from the crowd was “Tarang” choreographed by Jerry Opdenaker. It was a fast-paced performance that kept the audience hooked with a mix of various dance styles. The dancers brought their A- game to the stage for this particular set with speed, energy, emotion and skill all packed in one act that left the entire theatre cheering enthusiastically.

Evidently, all the effort and sweat put in during rehearsals paid off. The choreography was not the easiest to master but all the performers did a fantastic job. The dances required concentration and agility. Each dancer would be doing a different move one second and the very next second everyone would be doing the move at the exact same time in perfect harmony.

One set that was perhaps the most difficult of the show was the solo performance. The playback song was difficult to decipher, as was the choreography. The steps simply did not seem expressive enough and that particular contemporary recital fell flat. No doubt the dancer had it in her, it just may have been too much for the audience to digest.

The costumes on the other end were pretty interesting. They were not the usual spandex or ballerina dresses. The dancers wore eye- catching outfits that were sparkly, glittery and asymmetrical. Nevertheless, the people wearing them were all clearly exceptionally talented. Their expressions, movements, speed, and style surely impressed each and every member in the audience.

The concert was followed by an art sale inside the Swisher Theater facility. Art students sold what they had learned to create in their glass blowing, photography, or drawing classes.

The Fall Dance Concert was a night well spent. The dancers deserved every bit of the cheers and flowers they received at the end of the show. All the dance majors at Jacksonville University made their professors and themselves proud. The show was a spectacular, an effort that was extremely well received.