BYU dancEnsemble premiers student choreographic works in concert

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BYU dancEnsemble will present a night of only student-choreographed works at their concerts Mar. 17-18. (Samantha Little)
BYU dancEnsemble will present a night of only student-choreographed works at their concerts Mar. 17-18. (Samantha Little)

BYU dancEnsemble will showcase a night of student-choreographed works at its concerts on Mar. 17-18 in the Dance Studio Theatre (169 RB).

The group’s artistic director Graham Brown said he likes to see the creative voices of the students on-stage.

“In a setting like this, it’s typical to show works by guest faculty or professional works of choreography, but I really like to emphasize the student voice,” Brown said.

The choreographic works for the concerts were chosen through an audition process that took place during fall semester. Student choreographers worked with the dancers to develop the movement of their pieces in preparation for the concerts this week after the pieces and corresponding dancers were selected, according to Brown.

Meagan Barnes, a third-year member of dancEnsemble, choreographed one of the pieces for the concert with another member of the group, Danielle Ashby. Barnes and Ashby’s piece entitled “;” is the first student-choreographed work created for the entire company to dance, according to Brown.

“Our initial idea was the idea of a semicolon, which is a moment that could be an ending, but it’s not,” Barnes said. “The piece is about choosing to keep going.”

A graduating senior on dancEnsemble Katelynn Reed will showcase her senior project at the concert. She said the choreography that she created for her dance was inspired by an experience on her mission when she was in a typhoon in the Philippines.

“I’ve been thinking about my choreography since I was on my mission,” Reed said. “I kept the idea that I wanted to use dance to give other people light and help people feel the love of God through dance.”

Reed’s piece is entitled “Liwanag ng Pag-asa,” meaning “Light of Hope” in Tagalog. She said the dance is a response to her experience after the typhoon, seeing the people around her finding light through catastrophe.

“Preparing it has been a very sacred experience to create movement that symbolizes this process of coming to light,” Reed said.

Brown said he hopes the audiences that watch dancEnsemble’s performances will be impressed by the uniqueness and innovation of the students’ choreography.

“This is the next generation,” Brown said. “This is where you can check out what’s to come in the future.”

Tickets to this event are available at arts.byu.edu or at the HFAC Ticket Office.

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