Spring dance production captures Pink Floyd vibes

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

An original story and music from a world-renowned rock band will be featured in Troy’s spring dance production.

“Shine On: Dancing with Pink Floyd,” a dance show set to the music of Pink Floyd, will open to the public Thursday.

“Shine On” follows a narrative created by the production team, with every dance set to a different song by English band Pink Floyd.

“We knew that we wanted to approach the dance show this year similarly to the way we approached Act 1 of last year’s show with the earth’s elements,” said Tori Lee Averett, chair of the department of theater and dance. “They wanted to do a concept, potentially a storyline—something that had a unifying theme.”

Averett said the Pink Floyd theme was chosen because of the band’s music and concert style.

“Pink Floyd has really cool and funky music,” Averett said. “It’s something a little bit different . . . Pink Floyd appeals to a lot of different generations, and there’s a lot of intelligent storytelling in their music.”

Averett said the show features a unique lighting design.

“Pink Floyd was one of the first ‘show bands,’ with a light show and stuff like that,” Averett said. “They were kind of known for their artistry in their production elements, particularly with lights, lasers, projections . . . And we thought how cool it might be to have a production that used lighting in that way.”

Adjunct theater professor Jeremy Hodges served as lighting designer for the show. Hodges said the projections used are what gives the show its Pink Floyd flavor.

“(Pink Floyd) was pretty innovative with using imagery as part of their stage shows,” Hodges said. “The show has several cameos of their album covers . . . A lot of the lighting draws from what they might have done in a concert setting, or from their artwork.”

Hodges said that one of the challenges for designing the lighting for this production was the white floor that has been laid out on the stage.

“We normally have a black floor or a painted floor,” Hodges said. “But for this show we have acquired a white floor, and it can be unforgiving. . . it tends to show a lot of my mistakes.”

Professional dancers and guest artists Adrienne Hicks and Preston Swovelin will be featured in the leading roles, with Hicks also credited as a choreographer for one of the numbers.

Hicks, who plays “The Keeper of the Light,” is an alumna of the university.

“I remember working with guest artists as a student, and it was always such an awe-inspiring experience for me to get the chance to watch and learn from professionals,” Hicks said. “I sincerely hope that my presence here this semester has given them some of that fire.

“Troy will always be near and dear to my heart because I was lucky enough to be a part of building this dance program.”

Ashley Pettit, a senior dance major from Atlanta, said she was happy to be leaving Troy on such a high note.

“It’s a really unique show and something completely different from what we’ve ever done before,” Pettit said. “It’s exciting to see what the next move might be for Troy dance. I’ll miss it, especially the people.”

“Shine On” started  Thursday, April 6, and will continue through Sunday, with all performances except Sunday starting at 7 p.m. Sunday’s performance will be at 2:30 p.m. All performances will be in the Trojan Center Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at the Trojan Center Box Office.

The dance department will also host the second annual “Day of Dance,” on April 8.

“Day of Dance” invites students ages 13 and up to a full day of free dance classes taught by Troy faculty and guest artists. The day is scheduled to include lunch and a Q&A on working in the dance industry.

Classes will include hip-hop, ballet and contemporary styles, among others.

Participants will be invited to the Saturday evening performance of “Shine On” to close out the day’s events.

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