Story by Brandon Adams and Jennifer Clary Jacobs
CSU Dance performs its biannual concert on April 21 and 22, undoubtedly amazing audiences on a whole new level.
“The program is entirely new work that has never been seen on the CSU stage before,” said Jane Slusarski-Harris, director of CSU Dance.
The concert is full of wonderful variety, including student-choreographed group and solo pieces, faculty choreography for CSU’s Ballet Repertory Ensemble, and a guest performer from the Colorado Ballet. Additionally, extensive collaboration with CSU Theatre brings new gorgeous and unique elements to the program.
Student choreography is one of the most special aspects of dance concerts at CSU. Both sophomore Danielle Cardon and senior Aminta Remisosky’s group pieces are feature selections; junior Shannon Gerney, sophomore Hannah Finnegan, and freshmen Jasmine Burns and Sam Lewis present solos. The students have spent the entire spring semester fine-tuning and perfecting their work, expressing emotion in a very controlled, artistic manner.
CSU Dance Instructor Judy Bejarano incorporated a massive number of student-driven elements into choreographing American Lullaby for the Ballet Repertory Ensemble. As a discerning choreographer and educator, Bejarano included her students in its creation, having her pupils write about their hopes for the world and creating a collage of feelings.
“I wanted their voices in the piece, for them to be a part of the process,” Bejarano explained. “In many ways, the work was tailored to express a distinctive view from each student involved.”
In addition to the variety of student and faculty works, a special treat will be the iconic solo The Dying Swan, performed by guest Sharon Wehner of the Colorado Ballet.
“We are very pleased to welcome such an amazing artist to perform with us,” said Slusarski-Harris.
Choreographed to Camille Saint-Saëns’s Le Cygne from Le Carnaval des animaux, and made famous by Russian ballerina legend Anna Pavlova, The Dying Swan is an emotional piece that expresses death in a beautifully tragic manner. Since its debut in 1905, the dance has been performed countless times throughout the world, but for the first time in the University Dance Theatre.
What makes this CSU Dance concert truly unique, however, is the interdepartmental cooperation with the scene and paint shops. For the first time, dance faculty and students worked with their technical theatre counterparts on sets, adding more dimension to the concert. From giant steps to a majestic moon, the shops worked hard to add a fresh touch to the event.
Finally, CSU Theatre’s continued collaboration on lighting, projection design and costuming complete the picture.
“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with all of the CSU production designers and staff to bring something new to our audience,” Bejarano said.
The 2017 Spring Dance concert is one that patrons of all ages will want to attend.
“It’s such a physical, immersive experience… the music, the movement, the beauty, and the power of the human body are expressed wonderfully by this group of performers,” said Slusarski-Harris.
Tickets are no charge for full-fee paying CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30-5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at (970) 491-ARTS (2787), or online at CSUArtsTickets.com.
About the UCA
For a full event calendar, more information, and to sign up for a free event e-newsletter, visit UCA.Colostate.edu. For an in-depth look behind the scenes of everything happening at the University Center for the Arts, read The Green Room digital magazine. Sign up for free at issuu.com/coloradostateuniversity_uca.