The Fall Dance Concert is back this year showcasing students talents at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Students are expected to perform and share their passions through dance.
Daniel Stark, a professor and director of dance at MNSU talked about the matinee this semester, “It’s a collection of dances, so there’s eight dances total. We used to do themes but it’s hard for our students to create dances, so to put a theme on a whole concert is too hard to do. So what we do is allow our students to follow their passion, to really follow their interests and create the works that they want. It gives them more creativity; more leedway and power over their own work.”
Stark and MNSU staff member Julie Kerr-Berry choreographed the majority of the dances. The show also includes dances from two students and guest choreographer. Stark shared some insight on the student choreographed dances.
“Aditi Bheda is a grad student, but not in theater and dance, but she’s danced with us quite a bit and taken a lot of classes and so she’s choreographed one herself. It’s called ‘Somewhere in the Hyacinth Shrubs’ and it’s a very interesting work about a personal journey of being tangled up. And then we have another work by Parisha Rajbhandari.”
Parisha Rajbhandari is a choreographer and dancer in the Fall Dance Concert this weekend and explains, “Dance is a very embodied experience and you can see some things and communicate some things very musically. Dance explains and transcends things in a very embodied way that other forms might not be able to do.”
Rajbhandari said that for her dance, “The movement generation is based on the source of water and how it moves, the water in our body and the sources of water around us. The journey of the whole piece is specifically based on my lived experiences and the research I did, growing up in Nepal. The iniquity in water is different from what people experience here because of the geography and politics.”
Many students, just like Rajbhandari, are sharing messages meaningful to them through the student showcase. Stark explained, “That’s an interesting concert because it is only student work. No faculty is even involved with selecting dances that go into that concert. All the students select it, as well as they run the whole concert’s production, that way they really have a concert that they are in charge of. They’re learning how to put on a concert so that when they leave here they have that kind of skill set.”
For anyone interested in seeing the performances, Stark says, “It has very strong, entertaining, powerful dances.”
The Fall Dance concert is Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. followed by the Student Showcase on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Minnesota State University, Mankato in the Ted Paul Theatre.
Header Photo: The Fall Dance concert allows MNSU students to express themselves through dance as they celebrate the end of the fall semester. (Mansoor Amad/The Reporter)