“Falling Into Place” – BFA Dance Concert
Thursday Nov. 20 through Saturday Nov. 22
At the Betty Pease Studio Theater (Adjacent to CCRB) 1310 N. University Ct.
Tickets $5 on sale at the door starting at 7 p.m.
“A lot of people don’t believe you can make a living as a dancer, but I can’t imagine any other way to live,” said School of Music, Theatre and Dance senior Stephanie Overton. “For me, dance is a way of processing information, of interpreting the world. It’s not an activity; it’s a mode of thinking.”
Overton and three other senior dance majors — Megan DeShong, Aiden Feldman and Trina Mannino — will share their original choreography and personal interpretations in “Falling Into Place,” the BFA dance concert, which also includes compositions by School of Music, Theatre and Dance students Ryan Black, Carlos Garcia and Brain Lenz.
The performance showcases four people who have dedicated their lives to dance. Like any other artist, dancers have the task of challenging their audiences to see the world a bit differently.
“I see the role of artists as giving people an alternative way of considering our shared experience on this planet. Dance began as a communal activity, an inclusive art,” Overton said. “I don’t like conceiving the dance world as isolated from the ‘real world.’ It’s the same world. Dance is just another extension of the possibility of human experience, and it’s incredibly important for people to see that.”
Each dancer choreographed a solo and group piece to be performed at the concert. Creating their own works allows the dancers to express their personal experiences and styles, which is one of DeShong’s favorite elements of dance.
“Each and every person has their own style of dancing, and it’s really interesting and rewarding to have the chance to experience movement with others,” DeShong said. “Especially if it is completely different from the ways in which I like to move and express myself.”
DeShong’s solo is about expressing her “love for dance and moving freely in space,” while her group piece shows the opposing feeling of “being trapped somewhere with the inability to escape.”
Overton approached her choreography through poetry.
“Sometimes I used the poetry to inspire movement,” Overton said. “Other times, I used the movement to create poetry, which in turn influenced the structure of the piece by indicating how I should craft transitions or intent, things that maybe I hadn’t thought about before the poem emerged.”
Although the four senior performers chose to pursue their love for dance, it’s not an easy decision to make in the current times.
“A big challenge for any dancer to overcome is the popular notion that a career as a dancer is equivalent to poverty,” Overton said. “There is an unfortunate social stigma placed on dance in our society. Overcoming that and realizing that it’s OK to do what I’m doing for a living was a huge deal.”
Performances like the BFA dance concert encourage dancers and audiences to recognize the positive elements of the art of dance, even with modern society’s emphasis on pursuing lucrative jobs. The concert provides seniors the means to demonstrate their passion and develop the skills necessary to compete in the dance industry as both choreographers and dancers. Similarly, it allows audiences to forget about the financial situations of artists and revel in the beautiful creations that come from their bold career choices.
“Falling Into Place” not only explores the dancers’ choreography, but it also offers audiences a chance to be inspired by dance.
“I hope that anyone who comes to the show will gain an inspiration to take their own movement more seriously, to respect their own rhythms and motion,” Overton said. “I want the audience to be taken to a different place. I don’t want them to feel excluded. I want an entire universe to open up for them.”