The USC Department of Theatre and Dance has been hard at work preparing for this year’s Fall Concert, which features the Serenade ballet by George Balanchine and original work from USC choreographers Olivia Waldrop and Thaddeus Davis. The concert will be a show of diverse genres of dance and music.
Waldrop currently works as an instructor of dance with the dance program at USC and is an alumna of the program herself. Her original work Solicitude aims to co-create movement with the dancers. Waldrop and her group of dancers began the rehearsal process during the first weekend of school in August and are excited to debut their performance at the Koger Center for the Arts this week.
Waldrop worked hard to make Solicitude a natural and resonating image of grief. She wanted it to look like the movement on the stage was a representation of real emotion and not simply dancers going through choreography.
“This piece was an opportunity for myself and the dancers to explore the different kinds of relationships that exist in a community,” said Waldrop. “I wanted the dancers to focus first on what it means to be human and then a dancer. I wanted our work to feel real, relatable while simultaneously hopeful.”
Waldrop works closely with her dancers to make the performance seamless.
“I give them tasks and themes and they create a string of steps,” said Waldrop. “From there, I help them edit and cut and paste different phrases together.”
Thaddeus Davis, a dance Associate Professor at USC, is restaging his work, Short Stories, for the Fall Concert. Davis originally created this work for a project in Portland, Oregon back in 2008. This is one of the first times that Davis has restaged one of his pieces for a performance at USC.
In addition to the original choreography from Waldrop and Davis, the concert will feature Serenade, which is regarded in dance history as the first ballet created by Balanchine in America. The first performance of the ballet was in 1935. For this Fall Concert, Serenade is being staged by Stacey Calvert, a senior instructor at USC.
“With such a varied concert, there should be something for everyone to relate to or enjoy,” said Waldrop.
Students can also look forward to many more performances from the USC Dance Company in the near future. In December, they will host the Student Showcase with works created by the students themselves.
The USC Dance Company Fall Concert will take place on Nov. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center.