'Spring into Dance' gives university dancers extra chance to perform

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Dancers perform in "Trying to Find My Way Back Home" during a rehearsal Tuesday for the "Spring into Dance" showcase that starts Thursday at the Bedell Performance Hall at the River Campus in Cape Girardeau. (KRISTIN EBERTS)

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Southeast Missouri State University will present its spring dance concert, "Spring into Dance," this week at the Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus.

After auditions earlier this semester, 40 dancers were selected to perform the nine pieces in the concert. Philip Edgecombe, artistic coordinator and choreographer, said hip hop, jazz dance and modern dance are a few of the dance styles in the concert, but there is a strong contemporary vibe to all of the works, contributing to an active show.

He said the pieces are relatively short and diverse enough to please a wide audience.

"If you're not that into something, wait 10 minutes and you'll probably be into the next thing," Edgecombe said.

Before the fall 2009 semester, the department sponsored only one concert a year, but now offers a fall and a spring concert. Edgecombe said this gives students additional performance experience.

"It is giving them more of an opportunity to perform, and what we are doing here is we are training performers and young artists," he said. "Having both those opportunities gives them more chance to experience new choreography and new artistic work. Having both the fall and spring concert is a very important part of their education."

For senior dancer and choreographer Dana-Leigh Formon, her final dance concert gives her the opportunity to reflect upon the department's growth as well as her own.

"My freshman year we had one student-choreographed concert and it was in Parker, in a dance studio that was there. It was real small and people were sitting on plastic chairs and on gym mats. That was all we had. It has really kind of morphed from Parker and gym mats to the Bedell and great costumes, lights and a sound system. It has gone on this upward slope ever since I got here," she said.

"Spring into Dance" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 and $14 and are available by calling the River Campus box office at 651-2265.

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