Senior dance dreams realized

Photo by Marcy Thornsberry

Karl Watson’s choreographed dreams of effortless grace are becoming reality in this year’s senior dance production.

Watson is one of five Butler University seniors who will participate in the senior dance production that showcases each dancer’s unique ability and talent.

“You really get the professional experience,” Watson said. “As an emerging choreographer, it’s unusual to get the opportunity to work with a lighting designer, choose costumes and basically put on your own show.”

Both of Watson’s pieces include simple music, which allows both the choreographer and the dancers to explore the expression of emotion and the beauty of the human form in their own way.

Watson said he appreciates the dancers’ interpretation of his choreography and he values their opinions.

“I understand my dancers’ situation since I am also a student,” Watson said. “Some choreographers lose sight of the dancers’ perspective.

The dynamic is different when you’re playing on both sides of the fence as a dancer and a choreographer.  It’s more give and take.”

Freshman Alexandra Papazian and sophomore Christian Griggs-Drane are dancers in Watson’s pieces.

Both dancers said they appreciate working with a student who understands their position.

“It’s a relationship among peers instead of professors, so it makes the whole process a lot more free,” Papazian said.

Papazian  and Griggs-Drane said they have been working on their performances since September.

Months of sweat and practice go into each five minute performance.

Griggs-Drane said the point of the senior dance production is to showcase the talents of senior dance majors who are trying their hand at choreography.

For Watson, becoming a choreographer is one of his career aspirations and he jumped at the chance to experience it first hand.

Watson took the third level choreography course, which gives seniors the option to choreograph the dances and show them during the senior dance production.

Watson said that it is completely up to the senior to decide whether to partake in the production.

“I made the choice myself to try choreography on such a grand scale,” Watson said.  “It’s been a tough, rewarding process. Everyone has danced for hours during the day, and then you have to stay an extra two hours to choreograph and practice.”

Even though the process has been time-consuming and at times frustrating, Watson said he has loved every minute of this opportunity.

“I’ve grown a lot in how to construct a dance and create something meaningful,” Watson said.

Watson, along with James Cleary, Heather Brustolon, Sean Sessions and Emily Tashijan, will show off their choreography on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Lilly Hall room 310.  Admission is free for the public.