Students, professionals unite for fall dance concert

Photo by David Chrenko
Photo by David Chrenko
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The GVSU Dance Company will team with world-renowned guest artists to present innovative performances of new choreography during the group's annual fall dance concert.

The performances will take place December 5, at 7 p.m., and December 6, at 2 p.m., in Louis Armstrong Theatre located in the Performing Arts Center on the Allendale Campus.

During the recitals, students will perform 10 different dances choreographed by faculty and guest artists.

"The dances stylistically range from classical ballet and jazz to contemporary modern dance," said Carrie Morris, GVSU Dance Company director. "We will also be performing a short excerpt from 'The Nutcracker' this year, so this will be an opportunity to get in the holiday spirit."

Guest artists for this year's performances include: Amy Rose, former soloist with American Ballet Theatre and Pacific Northwest Ballet; Joshua Manculich, former dancer with Thodos Dance Chicago and winner of the 2015 Princess Grace Award in Choreography; and Mina Estrada, educator with Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Each of the guest artists visited the Allendale Campus for a full week at the beginning of the fall semester. During that time, they taught technique classes for students, facilitated auditions for the concert, and provided sage career advice.

"Dance artists tend to have complicated careers because you rarely are able to support yourself solely through performing, so you have to have other ways of making a living and professionals accomplish this in a variety of ways," Morris said. "That's one of the hardest parts about having a dance career – there's a lot of uncertainty about how you're going to be able to afford to keep dancing, so when students have concrete examples of how people have made it work, it helps ease some of that anxiety."

Both performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Music and Dance Department at (616) 331-3484.