Dance Alabama! spring concert focuses on emotion [photos]

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Kristen Feyt

Dance Alabama!’s tradition of choreography, costumes, music and lighting has danced its way back to the stage for this spring’s concert.

The all-student-choreographed show will be unveiling a variety of performances featuring multiple genres of dance, ranging from ballet to hip-hop, as well as modern and tap.

The majority of the choreographers chose music without any lyrics to help heighten the mood of the piece, as well as to not distract the audience from the message that the work is portraying.

Ashley Smith, a sophomore majoring in dance and fashion design, channeled her religious faith for the inspiration of her piece, “Kingdom Come,” the opening dance of the concert.

“I thought of a Cathedral rising up out of the ruins of a war-torn city,” Smith said. “This dance came from thinking about how the world can seem really bad and how things can be going really terribly, so we feel beaten down. Then we have that moment that we realize that there’s something bigger than us out there. I’m thinking about God specifically. I want this to be a message of hope.”

Another main facet of the Dance Alabama! spring concert is the amount of teamwork and dedication that the choreography of the dances require. An example of this can be seen in show’s light-hearted tap piece entitled “Copy Cat.”

Aaron Carter, a freshman majoring in dance, co-choreographed the tap piece with his fraternity brother JJ Butler, a senior majoring in dance.

Carter said the two translated their similarities in real life to portray a mirror effect with their dancing.

“JJ and I are really alike in pretty much everything that we do,” said Carter. “When I joined the same fraternity as him, it just solidified the fact. At the beginning of the piece, we are both kind of like the same person; our legs do a mirror of each other.”

Along with showcasing teamwork and technique in his dance, Carter hopes the audience will be able to pick up the rhythm that his tap dancing produces.

“I hope that they can really feel the rhythm in the music. That’s the biggest thing for me,” Carter said. “I just hear rhythm everywhere I go – in the steps that people take, rain dropping, pretty much everything that goes on all day.”

Cornelius Carter, the director of Dance Alabama!, said it is rewarding to watch the dancers grow into their own styles.

“It’s very personal, because there’s a lot of hours you spend in developing these young artists to find their voices,” he said. “For me, it’s a sense of feeling really rewarded that you’re able to do something that’s very emotional. It’s very intense to know that your work has not been in vain. This is what going to work is all about. It’s to pass on what you have to the next generation and to see them take it even further than you can imagine. That’s the reward. I see the future.”

Dance Alabama! will be performing in Morgan Auditorium Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., as well as Friday at 5:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the Galloway Theatre Box Office in Rowand-Johnson Hall or online. Tickets are $12 for students, $15 for faculty, staff and senior citizens, and $18 for adults.

If You Go…

What: Dance Alabama! spring concert

When: Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday at 5:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m.

Where: Morgan Auditorium