By David West
NATCHITOCHES – Three works from Northwestern State University will be performed at the American College Dance Association Southeast Regional Conference at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia on March 28-31.
“Comm/itment” by senior Asher Van Meter of Edmond, Oklahoma, and “Flirting with Light” by Assistant Professor of Dance Crystal Lewis will be presented for judging on March 29. Choreography by Mary Strickland of New Orleans is being performed at the informal concert.
“Comm/itment” is a trio with Maci Burt of Mandeville, Alphonse Engram of DeRidder and Sarah Talbot of Baton Rouge.
“It’s a piece that deals with the struggles of relationships and abuse, whether it be physical or emotional, and the effect it has on the two women in the piece,” said Van Meter, a theatre major with a concentration in dance. “The man in the piece moves in and out of their lives and you watch how it affects them when he’s with them, when they’re alone and when they deal with this jealousy and longing for him to come back. It deals with a lot of isolation for them and how they trap themselves within their own anxiety and let him control them.”
Lewis’ work is a light sensitive piece with two distinct sections and a cast of 11.
“The first section is lit entirely by tap lights controlled by the dancers,” said Lewis. “This creates not only a spectacle of light, but has a deeper meaning of being drawn to this light. The second section has a more ethereal and otherworldly feel as the dancers are lit by the tap lights, while simultaneously being bathed in a soft golden hue. The second section has more of a ritual feel as the dancers move in and out of partnering as they are circled around each other and the tap lights.”
Lewis originally choreographed this work as part of her graduate thesis concert.
“Initially when creating this work, I was playing with the notion of lighting dance through non-traditional lighting methods,” said Lewis. “I have set this particular work on several students and colleges over the years, each time it has morphed and changed to embody the dancers dancing the work. The piece is mostly abstract but does have an overarching theme of humanity and hope as the light bathes the dancers.
Other students from Northwestern State attending the conference are Taylor Young, Katherine Langlois, Jayzen Boger, Anna Birbiglia, Kennedy Butler, Brandi Corkern, Cathleen Oviedo, Brittany Davis, Kelsy Elkins, Vilma Castro Lopez, Tara Lane, Emily Ricalde, Luther Brooks IV and Alphonse Engram. Also attending are Ashley Henry, Vincent Spinks, Dustin Huffman, Erin Fallis, Mary Scott Pourciau, Leyla Fettweis, Haleigh Giorlando-Wall, Abigail Miller and Hannah Knoff.
While at the conference, students can take master classes and attend dance performances, research presentations, panel discussions and lectures. They can also meet students and faculty from a number of institutions. Faculty can present research and participate in professional development opportunities.