BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present The First Year Showcase, an exclusive first look at up-and-coming talent at Appalachian. This showcase is family friendly and intended for all audiences. It will be presented on campus in the intimate I.G. Greer Studio Theater on Sept. 24 – 26 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee performance on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices start at just $5 for Appalachian students and $10 for adults. Tickets are available in person at the Schaefer Center box office Monday through Friday 10 – 5 p.m. and at the Valborg box office from 1 – 5 p.m. each weekday. You may also order by phone at (828) 262-4046 or toll-free 800-841-ARTS (2787), or online at http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
Started over a decade ago, this program continues to grow in scope and participation each year. This season, performances include a variety of dance styles and choreography from first year dance artists, with participatory scripted improvisation from the actors.
The theme for the theatre segment is “Moving In,” a shared experience of first year students. Appalachian faculty member Trimella Chaney, stage director for the showcase, plans on using a neo-futurist style for the performance, which is scripted improvisation with audience participation. In explaining this concept, she said, “Last year we tried a neo-futurist style, and there was electricity in the audience; they loved it and the high energy. Each night goes differently in the theatre half of the program because the audience shouts out the sketches and it changes as we perform.” Most importantly, Chaney explains, “The talents students share, the skills learned during the showcase, and the bond the cast creates… all last a lifetime.”
Associate professor Sherone Price is coordinating the dance component of The First Year Showcase. It features several pieces staged by diverse and talented choreographers, with styles ranging from ballet to belly dancing. Price coordinates the efforts of choreographers Eric (E.C.) Fajardo, Alexis Griffith and Erin Laverty, all students in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Adjunct instructor Sayward Grindley, recent Appalachian graduate Caroline Daniel and guest artist Brad Parquete will also be choreographing pieces in the showcase.
First Year Showcase Dance performances are:
- “Roots” by Caroline Daniel
- Caroline’s choreography within Roots aims to explore sensations and awareness of the body in movement. Themes being explored include release and presence within the body, allowing the imagination to transform the performance space. It is the hope of the choreographer that the performers’ experiences within the choreography will guide both them and the audience members to a deeper place of memory and emotion.
- “While You Were Out” by E.C. Fajardo
- This piece aims to capture the emotions experienced immediately and long after the sudden leaving of a loved one on a trip. Meant to show the emotions across different personal experiences, the dancers take precise movement and imbue it with their own interpretations of missing someone close to their hearts, building to that final moment when those they miss are finally reunited with them.
- “Family Raq” by Alexis Griffith
- This work is a traditional Middle Eastern folkloric dance. Commonly called belly dance, the piece is intended to shed light on the true nature of the dance form while addressing many of the preconceived stereotypes.
- “Name Shapes” by Sayward Grindley
- Created in collaboration with the dancers, Names Shapes was developed out of creating movement, shapes and patterns based on the dancers names, which also shape who they are and have become. The series of explorations created shapes within the body, shapes that the body moved within and around, shapes that created pathways of body parts and the whole body, and patterns of repetition. General tasks were set up to devise the movement, but what developed was entirely based on the dancers that make up the cast, and the choices they made.
- “Static Waves” by Erin Laverty
- Erin’s piece is about the business we encounter in life on a daily basis, and how you can escape it through dance. The dancers express chaotic movement followed by partner and group work, and eventually take a breath to bring it to a close.
- “around the edge of an imperfect circle” by Bradley Parquette
- This work looks at the circle as a shape moving through space, as a binding agent between people, and as a beginning that becomes an end, that becomes a beginning again.
About I.G. Greer Studio Theater
I.G. Greer Studio Theater is located on the side of the I.G. Greer Building below the main auditorium, with a separate entrance down the stairway on the side of the building. Parking is available after 5:30 p.m. on campus in faculty lots, the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.
About the Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educational opportunities including B.A. degrees in dance studies and theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship, and service.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
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