The Daily Gamecock

Preview: USC Dance Company unites professionals, students in 'R/Evolutions in Movement' concert

Charlotte Landreau, the principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company.
Charlotte Landreau, the principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

NYC Ballet and student performers are coming to the Koger Center for USC Dance Company's "R/Evolutions in Movement." The dance concert will feature performances by student and professional dancers in a variety of genres ranging from ballet to contemporary on April 9 and 10.

The dance concert will feature an original work from Carolina Fermin and student performances of  "Antique Epigraphs" staged by NYC Ballet dancer Jenifer Ringer. It will also feature "Fandango," which will be staged by former American Ballet Theatre dancers Amanda McKerrow and John Gardner.

Jennifer Deckert, dance program coordinator and associate chair of the department of theatre and dance, said she thinks it is important for the dancers to get different perspectives on technique but also the dance community as a whole from the professionals. 

"Having the professionals, I think it's really important to give insight into the professional world. So start to make those connections and support them as they leave into the professional dance world," Deckert said. "They've gotten to sort of get a taste of dance history and also where it's going and the direction that it's heading."

Ringer has worked directly with "Antique Epigraphs" creator, Jerome Robbins, and said she used her experiences to help teach the dancers. The same goes for Amanda McKerrow and her experience with Anthony Tudor, choreographer of "Fandango."

“The shoulders that we stand on are so important to understand and also to acknowledge, but then look beyond,” Deckert said. 

The rehearsal process for this concert has been shorter compared to past performances because a lot of the choreographers are not from South Carolina, said Ellie Kumer, a third-year dance education student, who is performing in Fermin’s piece. 

“We’ve had less weeks to work on it, which means that during the weeks that they are here, it’s more intensive. So, we rehearse Monday through Friday for two to three hours, and then we've also been having Saturday rehearsals that have been going kind of all day, from like ten to four, ”Kumer said.

Another dancer, Anna Slade, a first-year dance student performing in "Antique Epigraphs" and "Fandango," said she has been challenged by the rehearsal process.

“Because Antique Epigraphs was a 15-minute ballet, and we had no clue what parts we were going to have like what we're going to be doing, how it was going to feel in our bodies,” Slade said. 

This will be USC Dance Company’s first performance without masks, something that the dancers and Deckert said they are looking forward to. 

“They all have different personalities and they're supposed to sort of have these fun interactions, and that was really hard with masks on. And so we're excited to be able to perform without masks and show the full performance quality,” Deckert said. 

Special guests dancers will join students on stage, including Petra Conti and Eriz Nezha performing "White Swan Pas de Deux" from the famous Swan Lake, and "Blackstone" by Italian choreographer Gianluca Schiavoni. 

The star guest list continues with Charlotte Landreau, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, performing original works "Grief" and "Reckoning."

Tickets are available online


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