From May 11-13 the Gustavus Dance Company will be putting on their annual Spring Dance Concert, this year called, Falling Towards Beginning.
It will be a predominantly faculty produced show and will be showing at 8 p.m. on the 11 and 12 and at 2 p.m. on the 13.
It will feature Gustavus faculty Sarah Hauss, Jill Patterson, Melissa Rolnick, and Michele Rusinko, along with guest choreographers Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner and Jeffrey Peterson, recent alumna Laura Johnson ‘16, and selected student choreographers.
The title of the show this year, Falling Towards Beginning, has a special meaning to Rolnick the Associate Professor of Dance and Co-Director.
She says that we often think of falling as an ending or a failure, but that we should view it as “an opportunity to reimagine, recreate, and begin again.”
She also believes dancing is the perfect way to express this because dancers continuously train their bodies to fall and use that momentum to get back up again.
This concert features a few notable faculty, alumni, guests, and students as choreographers. Cynthia Gutierrez-Garner is one of the guest choreographers.
Garner is a teaching specialist and creative practitioner in contemporary modern dance and American concert jazz technique.
She has an extensive background in Jazz which is the style the Dance Company wanted to highlight this year.
Sarah Hauss is a teacher, choreographer, and dancer who is also a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance here at Gustavus.
Laura Johnson is a 2016 graduate of Gustavus who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance with Honors.
Rachel Lux is a senior Dance and Elementary Education double major who is involved with the Dance Company, Student Educators Association, and the Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority.
This will be the second time her piece Grace Upon Grace will be presented. Jill Patterson has been working at Gustavus since 2012 and teaches multiple dance courses including all levels of Modern Dance.
She will be combining the art of dance with film, with the help of Nicholas Campbell.
Jeffrey Peterson is another guest who was faculty at Gustavus from 2009 to 2012 and also worked as the rehearsal and assistant and administrator for Stephan Koplowitz.
He currently teaches at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania.
Finally this show features Rolnick who is the Associate Professor of Dance at Gustavus and is one of the directors of Falling Towards Beginning.
The actual dancers are mainly students who are a mixture of all the classes and who are majoring in a wide variety of subjects.
Rolnick says that it is important that this show features so many faculty, alumni, and guests because it goes along with the theme of falling.
She says that carrying on in the face of aging is a “process of recreating” that goes along perfectly with the idea of falling into something new.
Rolnick has another few important reasons why students should come and view this concert.
She first stresses the importance of students coming to the concert to support their peers. She says the dancers are students in our community that have worked very hard for the past few months to put on this concert.
“Not only are the students in the concert very talented, but they all dance with strong emotion that makes the pieces relatable and powerful,” Samuel Burnham, stage manager, said.
Rolnick also emphasizes the importance of taking part in art as an enriching life experience and exposing ourselves to the complexity and beauty in dance.
She also wants students to come to this concert and realize that dance is a huge universe beyond what the media portrays.
“Arts have their place as giving voice to what’s going on in the world,” Rolnick said, and emphasized how students should come out and appreciate what the dancers are saying in this concert.
Students receive one free ticket online or at the information desk. Tickets will also be sold at the doors of the theater.