There is far more to dance than tutu-clad ballerinas moving to the music of Swan Lake.
Such stereotypes fail to represent the vast world of contemporary dance.
Fortunately, Butler University students will prepare and perform a variety of pieces for their peers to expose the true, full nature of dance.
Butler dance students are preparing for the annual Student Choreography Showcase this week.
The nearly two-month process will soon reward the choreographers and performing dancers.
“It’s exciting when everything comes together,” said senior Morgan Sicklick, a showcase choreographer. “After you’ve rehearsed it for so long, just seeing the finished product gives a sense of relief and a sense of accomplishment in knowing I worked on something together with a large group of people.”
Senior Shelby Canella manages the showcase on a tight shift, collecting music, arranging schedules and keeping deadlines in order to assure the showcase runs without hiccup.
“There were a few times I did threaten to cut people from the showcase,” Canella said. “To keep things running smoothly, I have to keep deadlines, and I have to do set showings.”
Canella also choreographed a piece and dances in several others, saying that designing original choreographies is far more difficult than many would imagine.
“It’s kind of like writing a paper,” Canella said. “You get a great idea, and then, you get stuck. You just don’t know what to do. It takes a lot of editing and a lot of perfecting.”
Many of the choreographers in this showcase are veterans from years prior.
Senior Matt Doolin recreated a piece he did two years ago, this time with the intent of summing up his college social experiences and, in the process, entertaining the audience.
“This time, I wanted to make it even better,” Doolin said. “I wanted it more entertaining, I wanted more people, and their costumes and movements are going to be more over the top. The piece is purely to entertain people.”
The showcase grants an opportunity for students to express themselves in a manner outside the standard dance curriculum.
Students run the entire showcase, and choreographers say they have a sense of artistic freedom.
“What’s great about the showcase is you get to see what the students can do,” Canella said. “During the year, we only get to do what the professors put on us, but when this showcase comes around, you get to see what the students can choreograph, and you get to see how the dancers in the pieces can move.”
For those unfamiliar with dance, the showcase provides an excellent opportunity to see an assortment of unique styles that break away from traditional dance stereotypes.
“It’s not going to be a classical ballet where you sit and watch the same thing for hours,” said senior Justin Metcalf-Burton, a showcase choreographer. “This is going to be people doing weird stuff, new stuff, stuff you probably don’t think of as concert dance, experimental work and stuff that’s just fun.”
The Student Choreography Showcase is Oct. 25 and 26 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Lilly Hall 310. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early, as the showcase has sold out every year.