BYU Dance Ensemble concert this weekend

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The department of dance at BYU will present dancEnsemble’s fall concert, “Only Now,” with unique choreography and compositions by the dance students  on campus. The concert will be this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 14–15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Richards Building Auditorium. There will be a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov.15, as well.

Members of the dancEnsemble will perform their show, "Only Now" this upcoming weekend.  The dance is full of modern and contemporary style dance with original student choreography and music compositions. (Ismael Arrietta)
Members of the dancEnsemble will perform their show, “Only Now,” this upcoming weekend. The dance features contemporary-style performances with original student choreography and music compositions. (Ismael Arrietta)

The dancEncemble focuses on contemporary styles of dance. The company produces its own show with student choreography and original compositions. Instead of performing individual numbers with breaks in betwen each dance, the performance of “Only Now” will be one continuous work.

“‘Only Now’ is the fruits of a unique artistic collaboration between directors, performers, a composer and designers,” said Graham Brown, artistic director of dancEnsemble. “It is an encapsulation of these specific artists’ collective creative voice within this specific moment in time.”

The dancers have been rehearsing for the show 10 weeks, which is a short time to produce a full concert. Brown encouraged his students to open up their artistic minds and create the show from scratch. He gave the dancers improvisational and compositional assignments and started to build the concert from what the students produced.

“One of the best things about being a part of this company is that you get the opportunity to show your creativity in movement,” said Michelle Leavitt, current president of dancEnsemble and a three-year member. “Here as a student you can choreograph and perform. This year we have created the whole show together as a company with 21 dancers, two directors and a composer. We have combined all our artistic efforts into one.”

The small cast and collaborators for “Only Now” include Danielle Ashby, Meagan Barnes, Elise Beers, Lizzy Briggs, Katy Crowley, Mac Cruz, Nicole Dugdale, Whitney Ellis, Jonathan Fox, Chessa Hedman, Madeleine Homer, Tessa Homer, Brooklinn Hugie, Jessica Jackson, Michelle Leavitt, Katherine Ledbetter, Molly Mackenzie, Shelby Marsden, Naomi Tanner, Jenny Thomsen, Ben Wear and Jenni Zackrison.

Brown explained that many will try and figure out what the real meaning of the show is. He expressed that the best way to enjoy the performance is to make room for individual experience. The dance can mean something different to every person who sees it.

“It may be about something narrative for one, architectural for another or simply the poetic multi-sensory combination of movement, sound, light and time for another,” Brown said. “All are ‘right.'”

The performance is entitled “Only Now” because it is based off of improv. It focuses on the now. The show features several contemporary dances with some additional urban folk movement.

“I love the way dancing makes me feel,” said Meagan Barnes, a member of the dancEnsemble. “I have been doing it my whole entire life, and I feel as though it gives me a chance to express myself through movement and is a good way to communicate and affect other in a positive way.”

Tickets are $6 and are available through the Harris Fine Arts Center or the Marriott Center box offices, by telephone at (801) 422-4322 or online at arts.byu.edu.

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