Gustavus Dance Company is “Suspended Between the Worlds”

Posted on April 18th, 2019 by

Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Theatre and Dance presents “Suspended Between the Worlds: The Gustavus Dance Company in Concert.” Student dancers along with faculty, guest, and selected student choreographers have collaborated to create a concert full of life, energy, and movement. Performances are April 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. in Anderson Theatre.

Melissa Rolnick, co-chair of the Gustavus Theatre and Dance department and director of the concert, says that the idea of being “Suspended between the Worlds” is an innate part of any dance. “Dance happens in this place between the worlds,” she says. Dancers leap to the skies, moving towards the heavens, while always tied to the earth. “There’s this constant back and forth  of trying to work with the limitations of gravity and reaching beyond gravity,” she says.

The guest choreographers, Melissa Herrada, Natosha Washington and Arneshia Williams bring different experience to the Gustavus Dance community. Guest artists allow students greater exposure to different types of dance. Washington and Williams integrate urban with contemporary dance forms, while Herrada teaches Continuum, a type of movement training system originating in Columbia that is rarely taught in the United States. The guest artists came to campus during interim to begin working with the students.

Each piece reflects the individual voices of the choreographers and is created through intentional study of the body and movement. “There are commonalities in vocabulary, in training, but each choreographer finds their own movement. And that movement, in order to be able to bring it forth, there has to be an investigation,” Rolnick says.  

The concert will also feature pieces by two student choreographers, dance honors majors Maddie Bakken ’19 and Kasey Dumonceaux ’19. Both pieces were featured in the Shared Space performance in December, and the pieces have since been adapted. Gustavus Dance Faculty choreographers Sarah Hauss, Giselle Mejia, Jill Patterson and Melissa C. Rolnick will also showcase their work.

Rolnick hopes audience members will come away with a feeling of wanting to move. “Dance is inherent to who we are as humans,” she says. “There’s an empathetic, kinesthetic response as a viewer.”

Performances are April 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. in Anderson Theatre. Tickets are available at gustavustickets.com or (507) 933-7590.

 

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