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Spring Dance Concert exhibits artistic talent of CSU students

Photo+courtesy+of+Jennifer+Clary+Jacobs%2C+Colorado+State+University+School+of+Music%2C+Theatre%2C+and+Dance.
Collegian | Jennifer Clary Jacobs
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Clary Jacobs, Colorado State University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The room starts dark and quiet but is quickly lit up by multicolored lights, smoke effects and music directing the audience’s attention to the practiced movements of the dancers.

The Spring Dance Concert captivated its audience with the combined use of production techniques, dancer abilities and choreography, setting a different tone for each piece.

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The concert is a long-standing tradition at Colorado State University. This year’s showcase was held 7:30 p.m. April 12-13 and displayed nine different works from students, staff and visiting choreographers.

Due to the diverse set of choreographers, many styles and messages were conveyed, enabling the artistic and athletic abilities of the performers to shine.

“It’s super versatile and very dynamic,” said Cassidy Faulhaber, a student choreographer and dancer for the show. “There’s lots of different stuff. You see a piece to Lana Del Rey and alt-J.”

“The concert itself has been going on for a number of years. Even back when I started right out of grad school in the early ’90s — believe it or not — we had the fall and spring dance concerts.”Judy Bejarano, Spring Dance Concert lead director

This plethora of media and dance routines results in an incredibly versatile set of performances pushed further by the dancers and their skill at playing their parts.

“It’s so many different styles and backgrounds and stuff, so that’s something that I appreciate here because I think, sometimes, different studios or different organizations, companies or whatever fall under one style, but we got it all,” Faulhaber said.

Judy Bejarano is the lead director of the concert and organized many of the performed pieces.

“Our students study a lot in modern and ballet, so many of the pieces have a strong foundation in either modern dance or ballet,” Bejarano said. “But we also have students who are interested in contemporary work, fusion — some semesters, we have tap pieces.”

Bejarano added that students and guest artists undergo a selection process in which they audition with their choreographies over two to three weeks in front of staff members who select performers. Staff members are rotated year to year, with two to three making appearances at each concert.

The participating dancers are largely drawn from the dance major at CSU; however, opportunities for nondance majors who would like to perform in concert are available.

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“For all students, not just dance students, we do have pedagogy classes — 101 classes where nonmajors can take dance, and if you’re in a technique class, you can audition for the show,” said Charva Jamison, a choreographer and student director of the show.

This allows anyone who enjoys dance to get the chance to participate in future productions, which happen every fall and spring semester through the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

These concerts have a deep history with CSU, following along with the development of the campus.

“The concert itself has been going on for a number of years,” Bejarano said. “Even back when I started right out of grad school in the early ’90s — believe it or not — we had the fall and spring dance concerts.”

This rich history has allowed for more experience each consecutive year and for generations of students to get valuable real-life experience with dancing and choreography.

“Choreography can mimic a real world experience where it’s so go-go-go, you don’t have as much time to prepare, and it’s really just dish out choreography, clean it, make sure it’s as best it can be,” Jamison said.

To set the performances off and to set the scene, the production crew — made up of theater students — helped with the lighting, sound and effects of the production. This successfully tied the performances together by allowing for the visions of the choreographers to come to life.

“If you want to see something new, if you want to see something familiar, if you want to see something that’s going to make you think, something that’s like a reflection of yourself or the world, we have everything here,” Jamison said.

Reach Caleb Ediger on Twitter @CSUCollegian or at entertainment@collegian.com.

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