W&L Staging Different Dance Events
Washington and Lee’s dance program will stage two very different kinds of concerts this week with student dancers and choreographers taking the Keller Theater stage for two performances of “W&L Dancers Create” before turning it over to faculty and staff for the second “Dancing with the Professors” performance.
“W&L Dancers Create” will be held on Dec. 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. in Keller Theater of the Lenfest Center for the Arts. The entire concert is choreographed, designed and danced by students. Twelve dances will demonstrate ballet, contemporary, hip hop, modern, swing and native Indian dance styles. “The students have been amazingly creative,” said Jenefer Davies, assistant professor of dance. “They are experimenting with lifts in a new way and this massive group flocking where dancers move together as a group then split off and do different things before coming back together. It’s really interesting.”
The concerts are open to the public at no charge, though contributions will be accepted.
On Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., it will be the professors’ turn. Last year’s first edition of “Dancing with the Professors” was voted “Best New Event on Campus” by the student body. “We’re hoping for a big turnout,” said Davies. “Last year’s concert was like a pep rally. The audience was screaming, laughing and yelling. It definitely wasn’t like a normal dance concert. Students love to come and see professors doing something crazy in a different environment.”
Although she was only an observer last year, Davies will perform this time with Dean of the College Hank Dobin and two students. They plan to recreate a popular online video by the band OK Go where band members dance on treadmills. “They do all sorts of cool stuff, and we’ve borrowed four treadmills from around campus to recreate their video,” said Davies.
See the original OK Go video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTAAsCNK7RA
Doug Cumming, associate professor of journalism, performed last year and will be back for an encore with two of his journalism students. “I’ve decided to add the tenor sax I play, for novelty,” he said. “It’s great fun and for a worthy cause and I’m looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to seeing how other professors will humiliate themselves.”
Audience members vote for their favorite team with money. Whichever team raises the most money will be crowned the winner. Students will also be in Elrod Commons all week taking donations with a swipe card machine.
Both events will help raise funds for Washington and Lee University’s dance program’s annual trip to the American College Dance Festival as well as also supporting the dancers’ membership in Nu Delta Alpha, the national honor society in dance. For the past two years W&L Repertory Dance Company has been named the “college of outstanding artistic merit” in competition. “We are very proud of our win,” said Davies, “and are anxious to go back and reclaim our title.”