The Columns

W&L Repertory Dance Company to Perform “W&L Dancers Create…” The performance will be comprised of work choreographed, designed and performed by students.

— by on December 1st, 2017

“It is our hope that young and old alike will be inspired by the concert and engage in dialogue about the work.”

W&L Repertory Dance Company

On December 6-8, the award-winning Washington & Lee University Repertory Dance Company will perform “W&L Dancers Create…” in the Lenfest Center for the Arts. Presented by W&L’s Department of Theater, Dance and Film Studies, the evening concert, under the Artistic Direction of Jenefer Davies, will be comprised of work choreographed, designed and performed by students, showcasing the diversity and talent within the department.

With a broad range of thematic ideas represented, the eclectic nature of the performance offers a spectrum of ideas, designs and movement styles. The culmination of two years of research into the relationship between pedestrian movement and smartphones, Sara Dotterer’s ’18 immersive video and set designs for Flat Conversation look at virtual verses physical presence. A contemporary ballet piece, Something in the Wind, that looks to Native American poetry for a connection between the spirit and purpose (choreographed by Mamie Smith ’18) is juxtaposed against a modern piece, Escapement, which was composed collaboratively by five students and delves into precision, clockwork and interconnectedness.

Nina Mariah’s poem “Nasty Woman,” made famous at the women’s march on Washington DC, is the accompaniment to Cate Peabody’s ’19 powerful Breaking Through the Glass*. Personal stories of loss, anxiety and grief are explored through Stigma (choreographed by Megan Dougherty ’19 and Bria Kelly ’20), and in the work of Laura Stagno’s ’18, An End is a Beginning.

Gust, by Abigail Petrecca ‘19, is a mixed media piece that uses paint to  demonstrate that elegance can be powerful. Kitty Lambrechts ’19 offers a post-modern work that is inspired by and created in tandem with classical music but performed in silence. This work contrasts sharply with newcomer Alexis French’s ’21, Remembrance, a powerful foray into a modern/hip hop style that explores a fight for recognition.

In conjunction with the performance, the W&L dance company is reaching out to young audiences through a collaboration with W&L social media group, wluLex. During pre-determined breaks in the concert, the hashtag #WLUDance will be projected onto a 40-foot screen, inviting audience members to open their phones and share their thoughts and questions about the works they have witnessed. Dancers backstage will Instagram behind the scenes photos and respond to Twitter and Facebook questions, which will also be projected. Moderators, led by Brian Peccie ’20 and Max Weis ‘20, will choose tweets to display prior to and post show and during intermission.

“This experiment in reaching out to new audiences was so successful last year that we are anxious to repeat the process,” said Davies. “It is our hope that, once again, young and old alike will be inspired by the concert and engage in dialogue about the work. Whether it’s over social media or in the lobby following the performance, the more people that understand our artistic processes, the more involved they will be in the performance. Our goal is to create active and engaged students and audiences.”

There will be a talk back with the choreographers following the Dec. 6 performance. All of the audience is invited to stay and converse with the students and Artistic Director about the creative process.

*contains adult language

Wednesday, Dec. 6 through Friday, Dec. 8 at
7:30pm
Lenfest Center for the Arts
Tickets are $5
Purchase: 540-458-8000 or online
https://www.wlu.edu/lenfest-center/wandl-dancers-create
#WLUDance