DSU dancers perform unique pieces in traveling concert

The Dixie State University Dance Department launched a unique traveling show around the campus March 31. The show consisted of six different performances where the dancers demonstrated their ability to dance beyond the stage. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

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The Dixie State University Dance Department presented its spring concert March 31. The dancers showcased their flexibility and fluidity as they danced around campus. Not only did they present their talents through dancing, they were also able to adapt and dance in an area outside a stage in an auditorium.

This concert is considered a “traveling concert” because the audience traveled to different locations all around the campus to watch the dancers perform their pieces. Dances were choreographed by Dance Department staff members Elizabeth Stich, Sara Gallo, Jenny Mair, Cas Burns, Gloria Morin, and Jennifer Weber, as well as all the dancers. Each dance was designed to be done in a different location on campus, and there were two dance films created by the dancers and instructors.

“Student performers have been rehearsing from four to eight hours per week since the beginning of the semester, and they’ve put in many more hours in the days leading up to the concert,” said Elizabeth Stich, assistant professor of dance. “Many students have devoted up to 100 hours to the show this semester.”

The dancers and choreographers decided where on the DSU campus they wanted to showcase their talents. Locations included the stairs in front of the Human Performance Center, the stream of water in front of the Snow Math and Science center, and the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center lobby. The dancers climbed through stairway railings, used light posts as props, and even danced through gravel. The dancers also had beautiful costumes that matched each dance perfectly.

“The dances were only possible at the specific site, which makes it even more fun and unique,” said Taylor Taft, a freshman dance major from Herriman. “It was an experience that I wouldn’t be able to have anywhere else, and it felt like I was taking part [in] a musical at times.”

The audience was led by a group leader to each of the separate dance locations. The show started in the Dolores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center with an aerial dance where the dancers showcased their talent alongside three live cellists.

“It’s fun to try a concert in a non-traditional setting, from seated in an auditorium to outdoors, using architecture and varied aspects of each space, as well as the audience is standing to observe each piece,” said Gloria Morin, administrative assistant of dance.

Stich said the COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for the Dance Department, but the department took it as an opportunity to think outside the box. She said she knew dancing in an area besides a stage, specifically dancing outside, comes with risks.

“There are many elements in this show that we can’t control — the weather, lighting, construction noises — but that is also what makes it exciting,” Stich said. “Out of the four performances, no two shows will be exactly alike.”

There will be two more shows on April 2 at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.