By David West
NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will present its annual Senior Dance Concert on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public. Original pieces by senior dance students Taylor Young of River Ridge, Katherine Langlois of Greenwell Springs, Asher Van Meter and Jayzen Boger of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Brandi M. Corkern of Hammond will be presented.
Young’s work, “With Love for Fitzgerald,” will allow the audience to watch a fun story of three burlesque dancers from the 1920s “fighting” for the spotlight at the local cigar lounge. Young said the roaring twenties kicked off a strong girl power movement and this piece shows that and much more.
“We see the drama, the love and the funny in-betweens from the dancers as they perform a technical, sassy and jazzy burlesque number,” said Young. “F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite authors, as well as him be such an icon of the twenties, he is someone that the women were absolutely obsessed with. Ladies wanted to be with him, men wanted to be him. The same thing happened with his wife. And with that came the title of the piece.”
Langlois says her piece, “sognare” is a contemporary piece “that will send the audience through the experience of living one’s own personal dream.” She said the concept revolves around falling into a full night’s sleep but waking up within the dream and living it out.
“What happens in these individual dreams is completely up for interpretation and is expressed through the individualism between the five dancers,” said Langlois. “Also, the two pieces of music I chose show a distinct representation of when the dancers are in the dream world versus when they wake up and are back in reality. The moments of reality in the piece are indicated by excerpts of a speech from the widely known psychological speaker, Alan Watts. I have always loved his messages and I am extremely eager to have created something of my own, using ideas from his work.”
“Patience” by Van Meter is a coming-of-age story for a man who is learning and growing through his relationships.
“It deals with feelings of youthfulness and naivety with a first love and hopelessness and abuse as he explores what he wants from other people,” said Van Meter. “He finds himself dealing with loneliness and a longing for someone else, but they keep pulling him away from who he is. It’s his journey to finding himself and eventually someone who will embrace who he truly is.”
Boger’s “rosette” is a contemporary modern piece created with the intent of vibrating the audiences’ auditory and visual senses, in an attempt to unlock a stir of emotions that with resonate within the viewers mind and body.
“I was 11 feet up in the air one rainy evening, sitting out on a balcony and practicing the acoustic guitar, when a poignant question planted itself into my mind. “How is it that playing this instrument can not only produce a multitude of sounds, but depending on the music, can trigger a plethora of emotions all within one movement,?” said Boger. “This energized my creative mind with the hope of translating this fresh idea onto the stage with movement and dance in a theatrical setting.”
“Bisou” by Corkern is a contemporary jazz dance that focuses on the glimpses of the people’s lives that one would see passing on the street.
“My inspiration for this piece came from people watching on the streets of New Orleans,” said Corkern. “You never know what the stranger next to you is going through. You only get to see them for a brief moment as they pass you, but everyone has a story that is unique to them. I try to touch on these stories within my dance.”
The concert will also feature three dances that were presented earlier this year at the American College Dance Association festival held at Kennesaw State University, “Flirting with Light” by faculty member Crystal Lewis, “Creature of the Night” by freshman Mary Strickland, of New Orleans and “Comm/itment” by Van Meter.
Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will present its annual Senior Dance Concert on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. The concert will feature original pieces by senior dance students Taylor Young of River Ridge, Katherine Langlois of Greenwell Springs, Asher Van Meter and Jayzen Boger of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Brandi M. Corkern of Hammond.