Graduating seniors express their emotions through dance

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It is that time of the year for the senior dance majors to show the audience what they are made of, and demonstrate their superior dancing abilities through specially choreographed dances.

The Senior Dance Showcase happens every semester, allowing graduating dance majors to show what they have learned in performance, technique and composition. In this performance, dancers can either perform a piece by an outside choreographer or compose their own original work. This is part of the students’ capstone experience before they graduate.

Joshua Mora, a senior majoring in dance, said the capstone class and showcase is like a workshop where dancers can work through an idea with the help of faculty to achieve their desired end result. He also treats this performance as a chance for networking.

“I think the main purpose of the Showcase is to allow seniors to have a show to work for, but I also think it may open doors as far as networking with new dancers, as well as showing potential employers or companies what you’re capable of,” Mora said.

The theme of the show is “Expressions of the Human Heart.” The concert will have a variety of pieces that explore a spectrum of expressions.

“We choreographed and we dance by our experience, and that’s what you’ll get,” Mora said. “It will be a night of experiences, a chance to support an art form, but maybe even re-visit memories through emotions that are elicited by what you see.”

Portraying raw emotion and the human experience in a choreographic work has been a challenge, but also a joy for Angelica DeLashmette, a senior majoring in dance and choreographing a piece for the showcase. Her choreography compares the similarities of the Mormon pioneers with the people who seek for Zion today.

“What I have learned from choreographing my own piece is that the creative process takes time to develop the deep thoughts and feelings you want to portray into movement, especially when you want the audience to experience certain emotions during the performance,” DeLashmette said.

Chloe Haslam, a senior majoring in dance and performing a choreographic work, shared her expression of dance through a theme of being happy with the paths she has taken in life.

“I started my piece this summer, and it was pretty intense,” Haslam said. “I have never done a solo piece at this magnitude, and I thought we could just set a dance in a few days and it would all be great.  However, it was actually really frustrating and time consuming. I had to be patient with myself and the choreographer, to find what movement worked best for the both of us, and how to execute it in a way that flows and saves energy.”

Mora thinks that always has the potential for change. He has learned that choreography is much more than coming up with moves to a sequence, putting music to it and teaching it to someone.

“But to create art through choreography, to speak to people you have never met and may never meet through a composition of not just movement, but the harmonious play between sound, sight and emotion, that’s difficult and something that I hope to master one day,” Mora said.

Haslam said anyone who is interested in dance should come to the Showcase, especially people who are thinking about joining the dance major at BYU. The Senior Dance Showcase will take place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dance Studio Theatre, room 166 of the Richards Building.

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