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Dance Theatre performs concert

April 3, 2008

UW-River Falls Dance Theatre has been choreographing, practicing and perfecting dance pieces since October. It unveiled their work Wednesday and will continue performing until Saturday.

Dance Theatre’s annual concert took place in the Blanche Davis Theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building at 7:30 p.m. on the aforementioned dates, and they have two remaining performances, according to a UWRF public affairs news release. This year’s concert consists of faculty, guest and student-choreographed pieces. Dance Theatre plans to present a wide variety of pieces.

“With Dance Theatre it’s such a variety of what you get,” UWRF dance theatre member Diana Schueller said. “You get everything from the comical pieces, like two years ago we had a slumber party [theme], and this year we have another very comical piece. You have some that are very serious that are dedicated. Last year we had some that were dedicated to people that died.”

UWRF faculty member and Assistant Director of Dance Theatre Mari Kline chose a somber theme for one of the three pieces she choreographed for the concert.

“[My piece,] ‘Interrupted,’ is about the heroes, victims and survivors of the 35W bridge collapse,” Kline said.

Brittany Warren, the vice president of Dance Theatre, is one of the students who choreographed a piece for the concert.

“It’s a half live performance, half video tape performance that meshes together,” Warren said. “It’s very modern—there’s some small pieces of martial arts and stage combat as well as a lot of surrealism. The title of the piece is ‘Insomnia,’…‘ode to the attention deficit’—if you’re one of those people that have a short attention span and want to see something just totally crazy and off the wall, that’s the piece to watch.”

UWRF Dance Theatre isn’t made up of just female dancers. The troupe wouldn’t be complete without its male members. Paul Fannin, Ryan Royce and Nathan Stauner are the male student performers in Dance Theatre. Fannin is performing in three pieces during the concert.

“One piece is very serious that we took to ACDFA (American College Dance Festival Association), I’m in a hip hop piece and I’m also in a modern, light, funny, comic piece,” Fannin said.

Fannin stressed that people don’t have to be dance aficionados to enjoy the concert.

“Come and see it, you’ll enjoy it,” Fannin said. “Even if you’d think that dance isn’t your thing, I think there will be something you’ll find to like.”

This year, Dance Theatre will be performing an ethnic piece with a Chinese theme.

“Ten Dance Theatre members will perform a beautiful Chinese folk dance with authentic costumes designed by Dance Theatre member Haiya Zhang, a freshman business administration major from Kunming, China,” according to the public affairs press release.

The concert is capped off by a large group piece, choreographed by UWRF faculty member and Dance Theatre advisor Karla Zhe, Warren said. The piece has all of the student members of Dance Theatre performing in it.

The amount of time, effort and dedication that each student performer put into preparation for the concert is substantial, and Kline wants the Dance Theatre members to be recognized for their efforts.

“Just the amount of work that these dancers put in is ridiculous,” Kline said. “The amount of work that the dancers do is really amazing—I don’t think they give themselves enough credit.”

UWRF faculty member Linda Jordan attended last year’s concert.

“The level of artistry was unbelievable,” Jordan said. “It was breathtaking.” 

Tickets for the concert are $5 for students and seniors and $7 for adults, and are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the box office in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building and before each evening performance beginning at 6 p.m.  For more information about the concert, contact Dance Theatre at 715-425-3114.