An array of dancers ages five to 18 will perform with BYU’s Young Dancemakers in the Evening of Dance concert “A Train Going by My Window” May 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center.
The concert’s story was inspired by Wendy Kesselman’s book “There’s a Train Going by My Window” and centers on a young girl who experiences different adventures as she catches and journeys with a train which passes her bedroom window.
“The concert is a fanciful choreographic journey that develops a sense in the audience which allows them to see more and enjoy the sights of the train ride,” said Pat Debenham, director of the production and associate professor in the Dance Department.
More than 130 young performers of all age groups will perform numbers which emulate a variety of animals from continents which the train visits on its trip and demonstrate different sequences of choreography.
“Students have been taking classes this whole semester to get ready for this,” Debenham said. “It’s going to be a delightful evening.”
Debenham is delighted that students get to do more than just dance in the production — they’ve helped created the choreography.
“The thing that is important for me is the process the students go through in that they get to be part of the choreographic process. They get to add in their own ideas, movements and steps,” he said. “Even though someone may have seen this production before — I’m not going to say it’s totally new, but some of the choreography will be different.”
The production is the third installment of a creative trilogy developed by Debenham and the late Dee Winterton, a former professor in the Dance Department. They collaborated with such performances as “Rain Makes Applesauce” and “Jabberwock.”
The concert features youth enrolled in the creative dance program offered by BYU’s Dance Department. “The youth have contributed movement in the concert and this contributes to their individual performances,” said Christine Ollerton, director of children and teams’ creative dance program.
In addition to the main numbers, a welcoming number choreographed by Kathie and Pat Debenham and a farewell number for departing seniors in the creative dance program choreographed by Jiamin Huang, a visiting artist from China in the Dance Department, will be performed.
Tickets are $5 for faculty, students, children and senior citizens and $6 for the general public. Tickets can be purchased at the Fine Arts Ticket Office, (801) 378-4322.