Leaping into the last show of the year: MSU Spring Dance to hit the stage

Minnesota State University, Mankato is drawing the curtains on its 2021-22 season, culminating in the Spring Dance Concert. 

Daniel Stark, a director and choreographer for the concert explained the upcoming performance and how the concert highlights the dancers.

“This is a concert that includes dances created by faculty here at the department, as well as guest artists that we bring in and a couple of student dances that were selected through an adjudication process” said Stark.

With this year’s Spring Concert, Stark explained the wide variety of music and dance styles that will be highlighted such as tap and urban dance. 

“The concert runs about two hours and it’s going to have a huge variety of dance styles. We have some contemporary dance, ballet and Latin-inspired jazz,” said Stark. “We like to do a variety as much as we possibly can.” 

The concert will also include dances by three guest artists: Giselle Mejia, Mary Stark and Allison Doughty Marquesen.  

Senior Rachel Hart recognized the importance of having the return of guest artists as the pandemic restrictions have been lessened. Hart explained that she wants the audience to understand how much the show means to the performers.

“I think that this is so special for many reasons, but especially because I think so many artists have been struggling throughout the pandemic,” said Hart. “I think it would be important for the audience to take away that we are so lucky to be able to do these live performances again.” 

For Hart, another important part of this concert is that it will be her final one at Mankato. Hart explained how surreal her final show feels at MSU and how it hasn’t hit her yet.

“I’ve been here since fall 2018 and I performed in every dance concert since. I think I’m most excited for dancing alongside my friends for the last time, but also the feeling of performing and being onstage, which is something I can’t find anywhere else,” said Hart. “I’m excited to experience that one more time.” 

Stark is eager to share the concert with Mankato to highlight what the students have been working on.

“It’s so great to see the students, because they put their heart and souls into what they’re doing on stage, and with the performance and the choreography and the design,” shared Stark. “It’s a huge peak that comes right at the end of our semester.” 

Similarly, Hart welcomes the audience to see the final show of the year.

“Even if they’re not a dancer or an artist themselves, I think that art is so good for the soul and society. I think that you see things in a new way, through a new lens that maybe you haven’t seen before,” shared Hart. “Just seeing dancers is super awesome, and appreciating the hard work that the choreographers and the dancers and all those people who are involved in this concert put into make this final product.” 

The spring dance concert will have a show on April 29 at 7:30 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m with a student showcase on May 1 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children under 16 and $8 for MSU students. Tickets for the student showcase are $5.

Header Photo: The cast of the Spring Dance Concert will be performing a variety of dance styles including ballet, tap and urban dance. (Courtesy photo)

Write to: Lilly Schmidt at lillian.schmidt@mnsu.edu

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