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USC presents its 2018 Student Choreography Showcase Dec. 4-7

Dancers perform “Naked” by (current) senior dance major John L. Green II at the Fall 2017 Choreography Showcase. Green will choreograph a new work for the 2018 Showcase.
Dancers perform “Naked” by (current) senior dance major John L. Green II at the Fall 2017 Choreography Showcase. Green will choreograph a new work for the 2018 Showcase. Submitted

The University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance will present its 2018 Student Choreography Showcase Dec. 4-7 at Drayton Hall Theatre.

Nine original dance works, representing a wide variety of choreographic styles and themes, will be performed. Each of the works has been created by an undergraduate dance student.

University dance instructor Cindy Flach will direct the concert. At the beginning of the fall semester, students submitted partially constructed works to a panel of dance faculty. Once selected, the students have continued to create and refine their works in advance of the end-of-the-semester showcase.

Flach said that it’s not just choreography for its own sake that the student artists are encouraged to develop over the semester.

“Communication is the key,” she said. “Getting across what they’re thinking, saying or feeling, and letting their dancers perform it, not just dance it. That’s been the instruction from the beginning — to make sure you’re reaching out to somebody in the audience, to somebody who’s experiencing or thinking the same thing as you. And to make it clear enough that that somebody wants to see more of your work.”

Some of the pieces in the showcase include:

“Pay the Toll,” an exploration of facing one’s inner demons, by senior dance major Michael Miranda; “Duende,” a piece inspired by Spanish culture, by junior dance major Caroline Beverly; “Downtown Crossing,” which was was inspired by the bustling, yet solitary, environment of a subway, by senior dance/visual communication major Meredith Price; and “Intertwined,” a work that fuses contemporary American dance with Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance, by senior public health major/dance minor Shreya Mehta.

“So far, the biggest challenge that I’ve faced in creating movement that not only complements the music, but also speaks to the audience clearly,” says choreographer Miranda. “Learning to modify and be flexible has been required in the process of creating my piece.”

“In order to get better at something, you just have to keep creating,” says Price. “The more you make, the more you have to choose from. Then, one day, you might have an epiphany and everything just fits into place.”

For more information on the Student Choreography Showcase or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at bushk@mailbox.sc.edu.

If you go

USC Student Choreography Showcase

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-7

Where: Drayton Hall Theatre, 1214 College St.

Tickets: $22; $15 for students; $20 for USC faculty/staff, military, seniors. Tickets may be reserved online at dance.sc.edu or by phone at 803-777-2551. The box office is located at Longstreet Theatre, 1300 Greene St.

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