Dance Concert to Showcase Student Talent

Dance Concert to Showcase Student Talent

Photo by Tony Firriolo

Theatre UCF presents its 8th dance concert “Echoes” April 17-19. The dance concert showcases students from the University of Central Florida dance classes, as well as student designers from the Theatre department. The event provides an opportunity for UCF students to shape an entire production with the guidance and supervision of faculty.

The dance concert has been a fan favorite for the past several years, selling out almost every performance. Due to program changes, this will be the department’s final annual dance concert. The concert will be replaced with another event that includes dance, but also encompasses more types of performing arts.

“The dance concert is always high in quality, and this year is no exception. I might go as far to say that as far as quality and talent is concerned, it is shaping up to be the best we’ve ever had,” says director Earl Weaver. “The range and types of dances is extensive, including tap, ballet, jazz, and modern. And because it is the final dance concert, the students have been putting in extra energy to ensure that we go out with a bang.”

Some highlights of this year’s production include:

  • “Echoes” is almost entirely choreographed by students. Of the 13 pieces, 10 are choreographed by students. The choreographers are hand-selected through an audition process and work on their piece starting in the fall semester.
  • The themes for this year’s dance concert vary from the light and upbeat (Gene Kelly’s influence on tap, cat fights, and air turbulence) to the more intense (battling cancer, mental illness, and conformity).
    • The dance “Brave” focuses on an older couple and their battle with breast cancer. After watching her grandmother fight breast cancer more than once, choreographer Rebecca Montgomery wanted to “make a piece that spoke to more than just living with breast cancer, but also living after it.” Costume designer Kyla Kazuschyk used shirts and scarves from Ford’s Warriors In Pink program, with the purchase directly benefitting The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation—Act With Love.
    • One of the more intense pieces is choreographed by Director Earl Weaver, a piece about the ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky and his battle with schizophrenia.
    • Student choreographer Courtney Kirby’s piece focuses on a group of girls in an insane asylum and how the leader “plans an escape with the girls in her wing. But the voices in her head make her realize the only escape would come from the release of killing her only allies.”
    • Weaver is coordinating a benefit for Dancers Responding to Aids, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In addition to taking collections at the door, there will be raffles and merchandise for sale to benefit the charity.  Items will include:
      • Autographed programs and posters from productions including War Horse, Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, Lion King, Book of Mormon, and more
      • Playbill Christmas ornaments, snow globes, and T-shirts
      • Ribbons or bracelets for patrons who give monetary contributions at the door.

Patrons should note that the performances will take place at the Orlando Repertory Theatre instead of on the UCF campus. Due to the Easter holiday, the matinee will take place on Saturday.

Production at a glance

“Echoes” 8th Annual Dance Concert

Directed by Earl D. Weaver

8 p.m.: April 17, 18, 19

2 p.m.: April 19

Orlando Repertory Theatre

Address: 1001 E. Princeton St., Orlando

Price: Standard $20, Senior $18, Student $10; Group discounts available.

Box Office Phone: 407- 823-1500

For more information about Theatre UCF, visit http://theatre.ucf.edu.