A single female dancer in a red dress appeared onstage at the Dorothy Betts Marvin Center Wednesday night and began to perform. Moving around the floor and miming, senior Kate Gorney opened up the Theater and Dance department’s semi-annual Danceworks Concert.
Gorney participated in “Arrangement in Glass, Sculpture and Painting,” one of six student and faculty-choreographed pieces at the show.
“My dance solo represents the Virgin mother at Notre Dame,” Gorney said. “(My role) is a concept a look at religion and its aesthetic beauty.”
Created by senior Daniela Wancier, the arrangement featured an all-female cast dressed in red. The choreographer’s father, Jaime Wancier, said his daughter spent a year studying cathedrals in France.
Wancier said his daughter had a “religious awakening” while studying.
“I thought (the show) was excellent,” he said. “The music, too, was very inspiring.”
Students, dance professors and guest lecturers choreographed the six ensemble pieces seen at the performance. Dance enthusiasts can also watch the routines Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
The full-time dance faculty chose the works and choreographers earlier this semester. Auditions followed in September, with about 60 students showing up to try out.
Audience members filled up about half the theater Wednesday night for the sneak preview.
Most of the works were 10 to 15 minutes in length.
Dance lecturer Anthony Gongora choreographed “I Want to Want I Want to Have,” which featured nine female dancers moving around poles with eggs placed on top of them.
“My piece is about seeing things differently than they really are,” Gongora said.
He said the eggs were used to “symbolize the little, secret box.” The eggs were then smashed at the end of the piece.
Another work, “Dances of the Islamic World” featured members of the Dances of the Islamic World class.
“I chose seven of the class’s 22 students. I wanted dancers who are very expressive,” said Laurel Gray, who choreographed the piece and teaches the course. “My piece is the celebration of feminine beauty.”
The cast members used several hand gestures as they moved around the stage and wore low-cut purple costumes.
The concert marked the first time the Islamic dance class participated in the show.
Some choreographers stressed the themes that appear in their works.
“My dance number is about the 100th monkey phenomenon. If one person sees one thing, another will repeat it,” said junior Tracy Marion, who choreographed “Common Ground” and is one of two student creators.
Marion described her “phenomenon” as the human tendency to follow others. Her dancers were divided into two groups, and one group repeated the actions of the other. The work also featured a mix of drums and bass, and the music changed according to different sections of the dance.
Many of the dancers said they were satisfied with their work.
“I allowed the texture and emotions of the dance to guide my movement,” said junior Wendell Cooper, the only male in the concert. He performed in “Rail,” by dance lecturer Tommy Parlon.
“The piece is a part of my ‘It’s a bad, bad, day,’ series. It is about the ability to cope as a group,” Parlon said.
But Cooper said he felt comfortable although he was surrounded by only females.
Senior Denise Sylvester participated in the Islamic piece. She said she hoped to “correct a misconception that Muslims do not dance.”
Audience members had mixed reactions and specific comments in regards to the dancing.
“I liked it, but I wanted to see less ballet and more modern dance,” junior Nora Delsol said.