CSU Fall Dance Capstone to end semester on a creative note

Nicole Towne

Four seniors unified by their love for dance, take the stage one last time before leaving Colorado State University. Students Lauren Kotre, Aminta Remisosky, Devyn Lee and Katie McClendon will perform in the CSU Fall Dance Capstone Concert and produce a show from the ground up which will premier Friday at CSU’s University Center for the Arts.

Each of the capstone students have choreographed two pieces for the show: one piece is a solo ranging four to six minutes and the other is a group piece ranging nine to 12 minutes. Each of the four capstone students have the opportunity to be a part of each others’ group choreography piece, as well as some of the non-graduating dance majors.

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Devyn Dance Shoot (15 of 57).jpg
Photo Courtesy of CSU Dance Department

The capstone concert, which has developed from beginning to end over the course of this semester. The students have made decisions about dancers to cast for their pieces, costumes, lighting and the messages they want to convey through the dances.

“We have put our hearts and soul into this capstone,” McClendon said. “It is our lives this semester. “

The Capstone concert gives students a chance to take a glimpse into the time and energy intensive work of CSU dance students.

“People hear that we’re dance majors, but they don’t actually know what we do,” Kotre said. “I feel like seeing our show really communicates all the effort and hard work we put into something and how creative all these people in the department are.”

For Kotre, one of the biggest challenges with choreography is creating a piece that is both original and entertaining.

“I have choreographed in the past, but it is always a challenge to think of something brand new and interesting enough that people will like,” Kotre said.

For her group piece she drew inspiration from the Salem Witch Trials.

“I was always a huge history person in high school,” Kotre said. “The Salem Witch Trials were so fascinating to me… I really thought it could translate well into dance.”

Devyn Dance Shoot (27 of 57).jpg
Photo Courtesy of CSU Dance Department

For Remisosky, her pieces which act together to create commentary on an issue that she has dealt with first hand. Her husband after being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan to serve, returned home and struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder. Through her individual and group pieces she strives to give the viewers an up-close and personal look at a reality that often goes unseen.

“It’s really personal and basically therapeutic for me to deal with this,” Remisosky said. “I think it is also an issue that society is starting to learn and do more about, but there is still so much left to talk about.”

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Lee has also made her solo piece extremely personal which is created around the event of her brother passing away. This is symbolized by the utilization of an empty chair.

According to McClendon, the choreography process has been a positive experience for Lee.

“I know for her this process has been really rewarding too,” McClendon.

McClendon’s group choreography used the quote Remember your roots and trust your wings.” It is partly inspired by her positive childhood upbringing and the process of overcoming an obstacle.

McClendon’s solo, which is Latin for “The Last Dance” emphasizes on the closing of her time at CSU.

“It’s very bittersweet,” McClendon said. “I love being on stage and love being the moment I’m in, but knowing that it is coming to an end … That solo is kind of a culmination of everything and it’s kind of my last chance to be out there.”

That feeling appears to be mutual among the dancers. After spending hours together through choreography and rehearsal, the dancers, all with their own style and approach, are able to come together to create a unique performance to share with friends, family and the community.

“We have differences of opinion regarding our artistic styles, but we’re really good at working together,” Remisosky said.

“I have not asked for a better group of seniors to work with,” McClendon said. “There is such a love and respect for each other that us four seniors have.”

The
capstone concert will take place in the University Center for the Arts dance
theatre Dec. 9 and 10. For additional information and tickets visit
dance.colostate.edu