Guest artist Alice Bloch works with students as they prepare for a concert March 2 and 3.

March 2, 3: Dance concert

Inaugural concert features performances by students in new dance minor

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1:07 p.m., Feb. 16, 2012--The University of Delaware's dance minor program, which began in fall 2009 and now includes more than 50 matriculated students, will showcase contemporary dance at its first formal concert on Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall. 

Under the theme of “Continuum—Explore the Past, Enliven the Present, Envision the Future,” the concert “touches on every imaginable aspect of the human condition through the kinesthetic lens of contemporary dance,” explains Lynnette Overby, theatre professor and one of the dance instructors for the dance minor

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The 10 pieces to be showcased have been choreographed by Overby, associate professor and dance minor adviser Jan Bibik, adjunct professors Kim Schroeder and Sarah Vennard, and guest artist Alice Bloch.

The dance numbers themselves reflect a truly interdisciplinary look at the arts.

For example, one dance includes an original score composed by graduate music student, Lauren Wells, and original poetry by renowned performance poet Glenis Redmond. 

The dance is a collaboration featuring Overby’s choreography and research by P. Gabrielle Foreman, Ned B. Allen Professor of English and professor of Black American Studies, on Harriet E. Wilson, a once forgotten indentured servant who is now one of the most widely taught black women writers of the 19th century. Wilson was also, Foreman and her collaborators have found, a successful antebellum entrepreneur and well-known religious speaker. 

The seven-minute performance depicts Wilson’s success story of “overcoming the odds.”

It is one of 10 pieces that will be performed by the dance minor students, all of whom come from different backgrounds and majors yet share a love of dance.

Sophomore Andrea Bianculli applied only to universities that offered a dance minor and says she even can relate her dance background to her academic coursework. 

“There have been times in anatomy when I’ve actually thought, ‘Oh, I use the solar plexus in dance, ’” says the biology and neuroscience double major from Long Island, N.Y. 

All students in the minor are required to complete a capstone course that integrates dance with their major.  For instance, a marketing student created a business plan for the Delaware Dance Council, while a speech pathology student worked with hearing-impaired elementary students to teach literacy through dance. 

The March concerts aim to showcase the new minor to the wider campus community, says Overby. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets can be purchased in advance by sending email to delawaredanceminor@gmail.com, and the tickets will be waiting for pickup and payment at will call the evening of the performance.

Article by Artika Rangan Casini

Photos by Evan Krape

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