NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The School of Theatre and Dance at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the fall student-choreographed and student-produced Danceworks concerts Nov. 10 through 12 in the Lucille Norton HPE Complex on the SFA campus.
The Danceworks concerts are choreographed by senior dance students majoring in dance education or performance and choreography, according to Heather Samuelson, SFA’s dance program director.
“This is the capstone course for all dance majors, and it is in partial fulfillment of the B.S. degree in dance,” Samuelson said. “The purpose behind these concerts is for each senior to demonstrate the skills learned throughout their collegiate career in preparation for their entry into the professional field of dance as performers, choreographers and educators.”
In this learning experience, senior dance students conduct auditions to select dancers, and they hold rehearsals and solicit sponsors and donors for fundraising purposes. Additionally, they host a photo shoot to be used for publicity, create and design show posters and programs and place print orders for each. The students design costumes and lighting for their pieces, Samuelson said.
“All of the elements that go into preparing for and producing a concert are valuable for these senior choreographers to learn,” she said. “They also learn about intellectual property and how to provide credit to collaborative artists. Ethical and inclusive practices are instilled into our dancers in order to better prepare them for the professional field of dance.”
The student dancers are exposed to the process prior to entering their senior year and the capstone course, and each course in the curriculum prepares them for an element in the capstone course, Samuelson added. “They gain experience auditioning and performing, as well as learning how to be a reviewer, critic and active audience member,” she said.
The senior choreographers title each Danceworks concert collaboratively with an underlying theme that often emerges based on their research topics. Each piece presented in Danceworks has a title and a topic of research explained in the program next to the choreographer’s bio. Other program information includes music credit, a list of the dancers and videography credit if film is used within a piece. The program also includes the names of sponsors and donors and/or their business logos in appreciation for their support.
The fall Danceworks predominantly features choreography that is contemporary modern. A few pieces demonstrate jazz in a more theatrical form.
All Danceworks concerts this academic year are presented in the HPE Complex, Room 201. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 10 and 11, and at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.
General ticket prices are $10 for general admission; $8 for seniors (62+); $8 for SFA faculty and staff; and $5 for non-SFA students. SFA students are admitted for free. To purchase tickets, call the Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS, or visit boxoffice.sfasu.edu. Tickets can be purchased at the door along with T-shirts if patrons would like to support the dance program further. Cash or checks are accepted. Nothing Bundt Cakes will be sold after each Danceworks performance to raise money and support study abroad for the theatre and dance students traveling to Scotland next summer.