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Fall Dance Concert Demonstrates Different Styles

“What I love the most about the fall concert is the commitment to experimentation and risk-taking both by choreographers and dancers, merging rigorous research, creativity and innovation.” — Rosely Conz

Alma College DanceAlma College Dance

Alma College Dance presents its annual fall concert with five pieces choreographed by Alma College faculty members and one guest exploring different styles, including modern, contemporary, contemporary ballet and breakdance.

Performances will take place on Friday, Nov. 8 and Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m. in Remick Heritage Center Presbyterian Hall. Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $5 for seniors 62-plus, and free for Alma College staff, students, and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. For ticket information, call (989) 463-7304.

The concert does not have a theme, allowing for the creation of a variety of aesthetics.

“What I love the most about the fall concert is the commitment to experimentation and risk-taking both by choreographers and dancers, merging rigorous research, creativity and innovation,” says Rosely Conz, assistant professor of dance.

Alma College DanceAlma College DanceThere were different inspirations for each piece. For his piece titled “Mermaid,” Ben Munisteri, associate professor of dance, was inspired by underwater movement, qualities and creatures as well as American choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009).

Two pieces will use props and sets. Lynn Bowman, adjunct dance faculty, created a dance based on memory and association that uses glass containers. Kristen Bennett, instructor of dance, found inspiration in famous oil paintings, and dancers also will be interacting with set pieces.

Raphael Xavier, a guest artist based in Philadelphia, choreographed “The Line,” which will be performed to music by the Portico Quartet.

“Xavier distilled breakdancing movements into a basic vocabulary that leaves the imprint of breakdancing if not the spectacle,” says Munisteri.

Conz choreographed the piece “Coven,” which is inspired by research on witches and witchcraft. However, rather than focusing on the stereotypical representation, she wishes to honor strong women sometimes labeled as dangerous or awkward.

She also drew inspiration from contemporary choreographers Marie Chouinard and William Forsythe, who have been “reimagining the classical vocabulary on pointe shoes.” She also drew ideas from Bronislava Nijinska, whose work is sometimes shadowed by her brother, Vaslav Nijinsky.

“I’m excited by the breadth of the program, in terms of variety of pieces, but also the depth that each choreographer plumbs,” says Munisteri.

Adds Conz: “As an academic discipline, dance also is intellectually demanding and physically challenging and requires constant and continuous dedication. Our students have worked hard in preparing this production, which involves choreographers, designers, technicians and, of course, the dancers.”

Student dancers include:

  • Alexis Abu-Joudeh, New Baltimore senior
  • Jenna Baker, Byron sophomore
  • Allison Boulware, Canton senior
  • Meredith Bowles, Howell junior
  • Elise Chandler, Howell senior
  • Jordan Gasby, Chicago senior
  • Rebecca Gieleghem, Warren senior
  • Athelia Gray, Lake Ann first-year student
  • Alexandra Karakuc, Holly junior
  • Juliann Kirk, Thompsonville first-year student
  • Amelia Lytle, Mount Pleasant sophomore
  • Maria Mitchell, Mount Pleasant sophomore
  • Victoria Mithen, Livonia first-year student
  • Alexandra Mithen, Livonia sophomore
  • Allison Muenzer, Fenton senior
  • Audrey Plouffe, Flint first-year student
  • Abby Potocki, Orlando, Fla., first-year student
  • Anika Ried, Mason first-year student
  • Maggie Schneider, Lakewood, Ohio, senior
  • Jocelyn Sweeney, Highland senior
  • Kathryn Todd, Brighton senior
  • Becca Yates, Marquette first-year student
  • Allison Zardus, Ortonville first-year student
  • Kathryn Zettel, Center Line junior
Story published on October 18, 2019