Gustavus Dance Company Presents Next Best Steps

Posted on May 9th, 2016 by

Dancer McKayla Murphy '17, Photographer Stan Waldhauser '71

Dancer McKayla Murphy ’17,
Photographer Stan Waldhauser ’71

Press Release written by Callie Fischer ’17

The faculty of the Gustavus Dance Program and students of the Gustavus Dance Company are proud to present the 2016 spring dance concert, Next Best Steps, a compelling show featuring the work of faculty, guest artist and selected student choreographers. Performances are set for May 13 – 14 at 8:00 p.m. and May 15 at 2:00 p.m. on the Anderson Theatre stage. The concert will include two works choreographed by students Allison Retterath ’18 and Nicole McGuigan ‘17 selected from the fall dance concert based on choreographic excellence. Faculty choreographers will include Jill Patterson, Sarah Hauss, Melissa Rolnick and Michele Rusinko as well as guest choreographer Jordan Klitzke ‘10.

This concert offers a wide range of modern dance aesthetic and includes comedic, emotional and thought-provoking material. A reprise of Jill Patterson’s eloquently crafted piece Counting Stars from the last spring dance concert was recast and performed at the American College Dance Association conference. There, the piece was selected for the prestigious Gala Concert after being described by the adjudicators as “exquisite.” This recast version will be performed again this year.  As a tribute to the graduating seniors, Sarah Hauss has choreographed Studies on Gravity, an exciting piece about the different ways one can experience falling, including “falling up” into the real world outside of college. Melissa Rolnick created an emotional piece titled Hopes’ Bowl about the ritual structures one creates to move through loss. Jordan Klitzke ‘10, taught an Interim Dance Practicum this past January, at which time he also developed his piece I Practice Not Feeling a Thing. This moving piece imagines the limits of society’s systematic steps to help individuals after a traumatic event. Michele Rusinko has adapted her captivating piece Uprooted from Christmas in Christ Chapel – Shalom, Salaam Bethlehem, about finding beauty in the brokenness of present day society. All of these pieces and more will make for a wonderful performance by the artists here at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Melissa Rolnick and Michele Rusinko are the artistic directors for Next Best Steps, working with Micah Maatman as production manager, Larissa McConnell as costume director and Terena Wilkens as the lighting and sound designer. Sylvia Michels ’17 will serve as the stage manager and Georgia Bebler ’18 as costume designer with Larissa McConnell.

Tickets for the three performances of Next Best Steps are available online at or by calling the Gustavus Ticket Center at 507-933-7590.



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