Happy feet

Dance majors with plenty of energy choreograph, tap dance

Kara Nesvig

Forget George Balanchine, Martha Graham, Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Baryshnikov and even that classic 1980s movie “Fame,” because a brand-new generation of talented kids with some seriously happy feet are right here at the University, ready to add their names to that illustrious list of famous professionals.

“Kinetic Spectrum: Innovative Movement by University of Minnesota Dance Students”

WHEN: Through April 27
WHERE: Barbara Barker Center for Dance, West Bank Arts Quarter
SHOWTIMES: Thursday, April 24: 8 p.m. Friday, April 25: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26: 8 p.m. Sunday, April 27: 7 p.m.
TICKETS: Call (612) 625-5112

They’re also extending their invitation to you, their fellow student. The aforementioned clan of performers is ready to display their boundless creativity for your viewing pleasure with Kinetic Spectrum: Innovative Movement by University students. The showcase, which features the works of five student choreographers, is the product of many tired feet and aching limbs, and is definitely worth your while. Nearly all genres of dance are represented in the various pieces – ballet, tap, modern, they’re all RSVPing “yes” to Kinetic Spectrum.

“We aren’t just students, we are new emerging artists and performers of the Twin Cities, so it’s refreshing to see how we are taking new risks and creating art with a fresh palate,” says Nick LeMere, who graduated from the Dance program last December and contributes a collaborative duet piece (alongside fellow choreographer Chris LaPlante) to the show.

The program, which is sponsored by the Student Dance Coalition, is in its 12th year and aims to equip students entering the world of professional dance with experience in production and choreography, while providing the stage for their creations to come alive on.

“Every aspect of the show is done by students,” says Kendra Heithoff, whose piece, (Re)Vive, features a cast of 10 male dancers clad only in underwear. Students are responsible for everything from marketing to production in preparation for their showcase.

“At its core, (Re)Vive is about the personal space in all of us that yearns to create, rest and renew ourselves,” she said when asked about her contribution’s concept. “I chose to put this concept on 10 male bodies because this notion of revival has become culturally feminized. Revival is a human need.”

Other students who will present their choreographed pieces are Molly Stolz, with a tap solo; Charles Robison, who offers a trio piece, and Jessica Briggs and Kelsey Myron, who collaborate in another duet.

The dance backgrounds of these students vary as greatly as the themes of their work; LeMere was a gymnast-turned-dancer while Myron started as a classically-trained ballerina, later to discover the worlds of modern and jazz dance during her study of dance at the University.

No matter your own personal exposure to the world of dance, the five students responsible for Kinetic Spectrum are certain you’ll find a genre that appeals to you on their stage.

Says Heithoff, “The beauty is all in the interpretation.