Emanate: The Gustavus Dance Company in ConcertAn interview with the choreographers of Gustavus Dance's upcoming performances in “Emanate: The Gustavus Dance Company in Concert''.
Posted on April 8th, 2024 by

Gustavus Adolphus College is presenting this year’s spring dance concert entitled “Emanate: The Gustavus Dance Company in Concert” featuring faculty work, guest artist choreography by Marciano Silva dos Santos, and selected student works by Elise Gahart ‘25, and Ella Schwakopf ‘25. The dance concert is performed in honor of Michele Rusinko, the late Gustavus Professor. Performances will be held on Friday April 12 and Saturday April 13 at 8 p.m., along with a matinee performance on Sunday April 14 at 2 p.m. All performances will take place at Gustavus Adolphus College in the Anderson Theatre.

Student choreographers Elise Gahart ‘25 and Ella Schwakopf ‘25 sat down with us to discuss their choreographic processes.

Elise Gahart ‘25 described her piece, saying “My piece is based on the feelings associated with imposter syndrome, and my experiences both in life and within the dance program here at Gustavus. This semester I feel extremely fortunate that I have the opportunity to perform in my own body of work. I really worked to explore the dichotomy between inclusion and exclusion in group form.”

Ella Schwakopf ‘25 followed up about her own piece, adding “my piece is a venting of all of my frustrations in my own life. It is not necessarily dark, it’s just not necessarily uplifting. My focus was on moving through the space and treating lighting and sound as equal parts of the choreography and meshing it all together in a way that became a cohesive experience .”

As two people involved in the dance program here at Gustavus, they are both familiar with what it means to be a part of a piece. However, choreographing work has been an entirely different venture.

“It has been very eye opening [to choreograph]” said Gahart ‘25. “Being able to get feedback from my peers and from faculty has been interesting, just to see what people appreciate about my movement style.”

Being able to choreograph is a special venture here due to the nature of the Gustavus dance community. As Gahart ‘25 put it, “the dance community here at Gustavus is pretty tight and so it is supportive, and just being able to see your peers move is something that I love.”

Dance as a whole has been an essential part of both of their lives, as it has influenced the way they conduct themselves and how they interact with the world. Schwakopf ‘25 said “dance always has been and always will be a way for me to process and emotionally regulate myself.”

“It has helped me think about things from a different perspective rather than just black and white,“ followed Gahart ‘25. “ It is a really fun experience I can bring up in a lot of interviews because it shows how to work with a variety of people.”

The Gustavus dance program offers a variety of experiences for students to engage in, giving a fresh way to explore the love of the art.

Tickets can be purchased here. Learn more about the Theatre & Dance program here.


Comments are closed.