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Show integrates dance with art in upcoming “Master Pieces” performance

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Emily Foster

Staff Writer

The Department of Theatre and Dance will be having its annual spring dance show “Master Pieces,” which will be featuring dances from resident and guest choreographers.

“We’re looking at how masterpieces over generations and centuries have been created and then looking at new work that’s been inspired by those works,” said Dante Puleio, an assistant professor of contemporary dance and the artistic director of the show. “We’re mixing up the whole idea of what masterpiece means, deconstructing it and looking at what dance is and what it can mean and how old work influences new work and the impact that can have for the audience.”

The show emphasizes the integration of different forms of art including  paintings, music, choreography and ideas of masterpieces from history, plus the works that have been inspired from them today.

Puleio said the show is about “finding a way for the audience to have an immersive experience with the arts in general, so they’re not just coming to see a dance show.”

“Between lights, choreographers, costumes and dancers, this is going to be a full-on experience,” said Emma Twiggs, a sophomore dance major from Leesburg, Georgia.

Dante said dance is ephemeral and urges people to be present when it happens, or else they will completely miss it. He said he thinks the audience will be inspired by what they see and will have a new understanding of what movement is.

“Whoever wants to come out and support the dance department and see this show is going to be very thrilled and thankful that they came to watch it because it puts a new way of thinking into people’s minds,” said Neely Aaron, a junior dance major from Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s a very artistic approach, and I feel like everyone can benefit from it.”

The dancers will be performing brand new, never-before-seen pieces. Dancers will also be performing routines taught to them by professional companies step-by-step.

“Getting to work with all the guest choreographers who have come to set works on us has been an absolute honor,” Aaron said. “It’s put a new element on my dancing, and it’s opened my mind to new choreographic processes, and I think that’s helped me as a dancer, but also as a person.”

“It was so cool watching my peers do something so out of their comfort zone but look so stunning doing it,” Twiggs said.

Aaron said they have been working on the perormance since February.

“It’s been crazy, but it’s been a very rewarding experience because now everything is coming together, and all of our work has paid off,” Aaron said.

“It’s been exhausting, but it’s been a great learning process for us to learn how to pick up choreography, retain it, apply corrections in a short time and be able to do a show this quickly,” Twiggs said. “It’s been the most professional I’ve ever felt.”

This is the only big show of the semester the dance department will be putting on, though there may be some smaller, student-choreographed shows which anyone is welcome to attend. This summer, the dance department will be taking its annual trip to Italy for a dance intensive and will be fundraising for it throughout the semester.

“Keep an eye out because we are constantly doing stuff,” Twiggs said.

The annual spring dance show usually takes place at the end of the semester as a culmination of what the dance department has been working on. However, this year it will take place early. Students can go to see the show Feb. 22-24 at 7 p.m., Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m. and March 1-3 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are on sale at the Trojan Center Box Office for $5 with a student ID and $10 without. The show will take place in the Trojan Center Theatre.