Spring dance concert bringing more diverse acts

Concert to be choreographed and performed by students

Dena Schedivy
Staff Writer

All semester, we have seen the theatre students showcase their talents. With the spring semester coming to an end, it is finally time to see the dancers showcase the hard work and effort they’ve put in throughout the semester.

Every spring, the dance department puts on a concert, showcasing their pieces that were choreographed at the beginning of each semester- sometimes even choreographing along the way.

The spring dance concert will be Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and April 28 at 2 p.m. in the Ted Paul theatre. Besides the dance concert, on Sunday, April 29, there will be a student show case which is a student-choreographed show that is chosen and put up by the dance students to match their aesthetic.

Daniel Stark, a dance department faculty, had some comments to make about his thoughts on the dance concert.

“This year, we have a lot of dancers involved in the concert. Ruben (Del Valle Jr.) is doing a hip-hop dance that has more than 40 people in it. It’s a big number and it’s really exciting to have such a cool piece on this stage.” He said.

This semester, the Andreas guest choreographer will be Ruben Del Valle Jr., former Broadway star who played Young Simba in The Lion King. He is currently an adjunct faculty member, teaching dance and acting class. He made his Minnesota State University, Mankato acting debut as Amanasro, Aida’s father, in Aida last spring.

“Julie (Kerr-Berry) is also doing a big dance but this one is going to be a tango with a bunch of the dancers and I think that will be very exciting as well.” He said.

Julie Kerr-Berry teaches both dance theory and practice. Besides being a full-time professor, she is very active in the Twin Cities, lecturing and hosting dance masterclasses.

“My dance also has a large cast but my piece is a musical theatre comedy piece, so it has some acting in it as well.” he exclaimed.

Daniel Stark teaches a plethora of dance classes here at MSU, Mankato. He teaches Introduction to Dance, Contemporary dance technique, ballet, jazz, conditioning, dance improve, dance composition and dance in technology. Besides teaching here, he has taught at the Beijing Dance Academy, Zenon in Minneapolis and was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa.

“It’s going to be an interesting concert because of the massive casts and pieces alongside these solos. So, there’s a lot of variety in this concert. There’s tango, hip-hop, musical theatre comedy and student solos, so I think it’ll be really fun for the audience to see the vast differences between each piece.”

When asked about the student showcase, Stark had some more to say.

Stark stated, “The student dance showcase is a concert choreographed, performed, organized and produced by the students. They’re in charge of all the aspects of it, so it’s a great opportunity for them creatively as well as educationally to learn how to put on a show. When they leave here, they’ll have more knowledge about what it takes to run the whole show from an on-stage and off-stage perspective.”

“Secondly, the students select the work on the concert. It’s not the faculty choosing, the students form a committee to select what dances get put on stage so it really emphasizes their aesthetics and styles.”

There are two opportunities to see the Spring dance concert. Once on Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m. The student showcase will perform Sunday, April 29 at 2 p.m. in the Ted Paul theatre. Tickets will be sold for $10 and are available to purchase online at http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/ , by phone at 507-389-6661 or in-person at the box office Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

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