Dance prepares for concert

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The Pacific University community will have the opportunity to see professionally and student choreographed pieces in the Autumn Choreographers Concert between Nov. 19 and Nov. 21.

The Theatre and Dance Department is hard at work preparing for the end of the semester dance show.

“We have about 21 dancers from all different levels and backgrounds and majors,” said Instructor James Healey, organizer of the Autumn Choreographers Concert.

Sienna Ballou, sophomore student in the Dance Ensemble, compared the Autumn Choreographers Concert to a football game, explaining that this is another opportunity to show the dance department’s commitment and skill.

“We see how hard students are working all the time…it’s something that a group of students have been invested in like always.” said Ballou. “There’s not even a moment when we’re not thinking about when rehearsal is.”

Healey discussed the ensemble class and its benefits for Pacific University’s dance students.

“Itgivesthemapre-lessononhowtobeina company–in a working environment where they have responsibility,” said Healey. ”They have to show up and be ready to do the work.”

Senior Camielle Westfall, another student choreographer, discussed what her experience has taught her about the process of forming an event like the Autumn Choreographers Concert.

“I’m a big planner, so I need to come prepared ahead of time…it’s hard to get the studio space to just create what I want to do,” said Westfall.

Students also choreograph pieces for the Autumn Choreographers Concert. Senior Jassa Gunn, a student choreographer for the event, discussed how choreographing pieces teaches her how to better improvise in her own dancing and how to understand her choreographers better.

“You can see what a choreographer who is coming in to teach…a piece to you…you know where they’re coming from,” said Gunn.

Students embraced the experience of working with peer choreographers.

“We all recognize that it’s vulnerable to be a choreographer because you’re…putting your artistic self out there, and we…all know what it’s like to be in that position, so we have respect for anyone that does,” said Ballou.

Gunn discussed the variety of influences and messages in the upcoming concert.

Gunn’s dance centers on racial inequality while some others focus on longing or have jazz influence. “I’m just excited to see how people feel afterwards and if they get it. And I’m interested toseeifthere’sgoingtobeangrypeople…I’m interested to see what people are going to say after my piece or if they’re going to say anything at all,” said Gunn.


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