Stephen F. Austin State University

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Danceworks: In Retrospect production to feature 11 SFA senior choreographic pieces

October 23, 2017 - University Marketing Communications
Stephen F. Austin State University's dance program will showcase senior choreographic works during its production of Danceworks: In Retrospect, which premieres at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the HPE Complex Dance Studio, Room 201, on the university's campus.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's dance program will showcase senior choreographic works during its production of Danceworks: In Retrospect, which premieres at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 in the HPE Complex Dance Studio, Room 201, on the university's campus.

Additional showings are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and 3 p.m. Nov. 11. Tickets cost $5 for students, $8 for faculty and staff members, and $10 for general admission and can be purchased at the door.

The production will feature 11 senior choreographic works focused on the theme "In Retrospect."

"Each dance is personal to the choreographer, and they all focus on memories," said Heather Samuelson, assistant professor of dance. "Each piece either recalls a memory or is trying to evoke a memory from the audience."

Danceworks serves as the capstone course for dance seniors. During the summer, seniors research concepts for their works, and on the first day of the semester, rehearsals begin. SFA senior Maryelle Stephenson, of Fate, Texas, is performing in two pieces.

"It's cool to learn from two different student choreographer's perspective because each piece I'm performing in is different and equally as great," Stephenson said.

Samuelson explained producing the concert teaches students a variety of skills other than choreography. For example, students learn how to cast a show, promote a performance, design lighting, select costumes, edit music and more.

"Whether our students teach dance or work in a dance company in the future, Danceworks gives them the background they need to assist a company in organizing and producing a dance concert," Samuelson said. "When students leave SFA, they are fully capable of producing a concert in entirety by themselves."

Jazz and contemporary dance are the main styles that will be featured during this production. Ten pieces are appropriate for all audiences. One piece deals with a sensitive topic and is not recommended for children. The audience will be notified before that piece's performance.