UM’s School of Theatre & Dance to Present ‘Dance Underground’

UM dance majors practice for the upcoming performances of “Dance Underground.”

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s School of Theatre and Dance will celebrate innovative, whimsical and thought-provoking original choreography in its upcoming production of “Dance Underground,” streaming online from Friday, Oct. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 25. Shows will be recorded and tickets will grant online access to each production on demand.

Performances are free, but patrons must sign up to gain access by visiting Donations are encouraged to support the ASUM Student Dance Club. Students use these donations to bring guest teachers and choreographers to campus and to partner with local community organizations that strive to facilitate positive social change in Missoula.

“Dance Underground” presents dances from novices to professional choreographers, and is open to choreographers wishing to present work in an experimental setting. This year, all the choreographers were asked to create dances that were made specifically for a video camera. This format allows choreographers the opportunity to explore ideas, narratives and images that might be difficult to fully realize in a live, staged performance. Video also allows the dance makers to use multiple locations and times of day for their work.

As part of this production experience, the school has invited Joy French — a Missoula choreographer, UM adjunct assistant professor and the artistic director of Bare Bait Dance — to provide workshops on dance for camera for students. French brings an extraordinary wealth of knowledge, experience and artistry, and the dance program is fortunate to be able to share her expertise with both students and the community.

The Dance Program is particularly happy to include the work of Visiting Assistant Professor Brooklyn Draper. Her whimsical work is inspired by the phrase “head in the clouds.” She and her cast of 25 dancers explore the world of daydreaming that traverses logic, chaos and interconnectivity. The piece uses recycled materials in the natural world while investigating movement that is individualized within a community and asks: What if we could daydream together?

For more information, call UM Professor of Dance and “Dance Underground” Producer Michele Antonioli at 406-214-9766 or email her at For more information about the entire fall 2020 Theatre and Dance season, visit


Contact: Michele Antonioli, professor, UM School of Theatre and Dance, 406-214-9766,