MISSOULA– Student performances featuring original dance choreography will be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 1, at the University of Montana. These new dances will directly benefit UM students.
The American College Dance Association Benefit Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. both nights in the Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center’s Open Space Theatre. Tickets will be available at the door, with a suggested donation of $5 to $10.
“And more would be gratefully accepted,” said Heidi Jones Eggert, a UM associate professor of dance and producer of the concert. “We will offer a compilation of original dances ranging in genres from dance theatre and contemporary modern dance to hip hop – all choreographed by students and faculty.”
The benefit concert features choreographers’ work slated to be performed at this year’s Northwest Regional Conference of the American College Dance Association, scheduled for March at Gonzaga University. That event will be adjudicated by nationally and internationally renowned dance artists and critics.
“The benefit concert helps to raise critical funds for UM dance students to attend this conference,” Eggert said. “It also showcases fresh danceworks before they represent UM in Spokane, Washington.”
Highlights of this year’s concert include:
Graduate student and Master of Fine Arts candidate, Elijah Fisher will present his most recent work, “TIRED |T1RED.” Fisher’s piece largely is inspired by the state of exhaustion that he exists in as a Black and Filipino person in predominately white spaces. Fisher explores his complex relationship with the multiple identities of a neutral mask.
Visiting Professor Brooklyn Draper’s work “Void” features twelve dancers. “Void” is an investigation of the indefinite, and Draper is interested in how the discomfort of the unknown is physicalized and how our need for control can consciously or unconsciously impact those we share space with.
Sophomore dance major and Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate Shenoah Curley Wildshoe will present her solo, “Unspoken Prayer Request.” Her dance is an exploration of the kind of pain and hardship a person feels they must work through alone because they cannot articulate their need for help to anyone else.
“ACDA is an extraordinary opportunity and highlight for most UM dance students, and we hope the audiences turn out to help them get there,” Eggert said.