By Amelia Eichel
The annual student choreographed Dance Extravaganza (Dance X) is opening in Fir Acres Theatre Main Stage on Friday, Dec. 7. This year’s show features four pieces choreographed by three students and one visiting choreographer.
Dance X began in 1996 as an experimental not-for-credit theatrical dance performance in the Black Box. Dance Program Lead, Susan E. Davis described the event as “truly circus-like.” Over the past 22 years, it has evolved into a main stage performance for which dancers get two credits and choreographers get four. Dance X invites students with training and technical ability and students with no dance training to perform. This year, they hired a professional lighting designer for the show.
The 12 minutes of performance time allotted to each choreographer allows them to explore complex ideas through dance. Dance minor Sydney Owada ’19 created a piece that deals with grief. Inspired by the loss of her friend a few years ago, she portrays the lingering feeling that remains over time as if a person is never truly gone in her piece titled “Want.”
Haley Wilson ’19, who performed for Dance X in 2017 and choreographed for Dance Y in 2018 choreographed a piece titled “Body Parts” which is inspired by the concept of self.
“It explores the relationships between different parts of yourself, and although they are not always in harmony, these aspects are ultimately part of a larger whole,” Wilson said.
In her dance, the dancers form one self and their interactions represent the dynamic changes between different parts of oneself.
“Being a choreographer has taught me a lot about the artistic process and how to translate concepts into movement,” Wilson said. “I have had to learn how to let go of expectations, and work with what is in front of me, rather than relying on what is in my head. There are periods of creation and then of assembly, with lots of problem solving in between with significant collaboration from the dancers.”
This year, the dance program received a grant to bring a guest choreographer for Dance X. They invited University of Oregon professor Brad Garner who choreographed a piece for three dancers.
The show opens Dec. 7 with performances at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday. Tickets are on sale online and at the box office for $5 for LC students, $10 for alumni and faculty and $15 for the general public.