The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s dance program’s 34th annual spring concert, “An Evening of Dance,” is set to take place from March 30 through April 2 at Burke-Hawthorne Hall. The shows on March 30 through April 1 will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the April 2 show will be a matinee, at 2:00 p.m.
The spring concert will have 36 student performers and 11 of those students are choreographers as well.
Michael Crotty, assistant professor of dance and coordinator of UL Lafayette’s dance program shared the process of putting together the spring concert and the work done by students.
“A hallmark of this show is that it’s primarily student-choreographed works. The students went through an extensive rehearsal process that was around six weeks. They were in conversation with a faculty mentor who would advise their work and help them navigate their complex, creative tasks,” Crotty said.
Crotty further explained the effort the student dancers had to put into the program.
“Essentially, they had to present their choreographic work as research,” Crotty said.
Crotty continued, sharing that students had to gather information and present their research as part of putting together the choreography of the concert.
“We approach the act of making dances like traditional scholarly work, so they have to do research that’s based sort of in movement, invention they do in the studio. They had to present the work for adjudication where they had to do a PowerPoint presentation, and then answer some complex questions about their work,” Crotty said.
In addition to the student performances, guest artist Rebecca Aneloski, from Salt Lake City, Utah, choreographed a work in her one-week residency at UL Lafayette. This work will be featured along with all of the student-choreographed works.
LaMya McGee, a sophomore dance major, is one of the 11 student choreographers in the concert. McGee shared that her experience as a choreographer has been “challenging, but in a good way.” She further shared, “It’s really fun. Working with other people and seeing their visions come to life and seeing my vision come to life is really inspiring.”
Crotty explained the uniqueness of UL Lafayette’s dance program. The aspects of uniqueness are found in the openness and community aspects of UL Lafayette’s dance program. He described other dance programs and explained that they can be strict and not allow much creative freedom to students, and that UL Lafayette’s program allows students to choose their costumes and select the genre and style of dance they wish to research.
The spring concert also allows high school students and UL Lafayette alumni to participate in the program.
“Community is really important to us,” Crotty said.
McGee explained that the spring concert is a collaboration with the UL Lafayette theatre department. Their contributions to the set and lighting are student based as well. This is another unique aspect of UL Lafayette’s dance program. Student collaboration is extremely important.
“It’s collaborative, and it is all part of the education,” Crotty said.
McGee shared that she believes the diversity of the show’s styles means that anyone can find something to enjoy about it.
“There’s a vast majority of styles, this show can appeal to anyone” McGee said. “It is going to be a very fun show to watch.”
Tickets can be bought through Eventbrite. Students, faculty and staff can attend for free with their ULID. General public tickets are being sold for $10.