Sunday, December 2, 2012

"Ohh So You're a Dancer...What Does That Even Mean?"

Explaining to someone that you're a dancer can be an interesting endeavor. It's usually accompanied with an eye-brow-raise and "ohhhh!" combination--upon which they either proceed to look at you with a unique respect, or mild to extreme confusion; sometimes both. 

Dancers are the vessels through which the artistic input of the choreographer is expressed and materialized--and because of this, the relationship between both parties has to be dynamic, honest, and highly open to communication.

As a choreographer for the concert, I've learned so much from my dancers, and gained a wealth of artistic inspiration. We've formed a special bond in that way. Maybe it's because we spend hours upon hours crammed in a dingy dance studio in the basement of IM Circle, practicing movements over and over again with one another while we could be out socializing like normal people--or maybe it's something more than that. 

I've always found there's a special kind of vulnerability required of dancers. Yes, steps are steps, but embodying them in a performance becomes a very personal experience. The dancer is the instrument of the dance, and before long the line that separates the two becomes increasingly blurred. As a team of choreographer and dancers, you are all participants in the grand circuitry of the same art--threaded together by a mutual devotion, appreciation, and passion.

Featured below is an insider interview of two members in the "Boundless" family. Check out what they're experience as dancers in the concert has been like, and learn a bit about how "Boundless" has impacted them!

Thomas Bond

Junior -- Psychology major, dance minor

How did you get involved with MSU Orchesis Dance//"Boundless"?

"I had a great time dancing in last years repertory concert, 'Dance is the Answer', so when the opportunity  to audition for 'Boundless' presented itself I was definitely on board."

Last year's repertory concert featured professional choreographers--what was it like working with student choreographers?

"I gained a new level of respect for my peers. The atmosphere is relaxed, which makes working together easy and enjoyable. They're very receptive toward us, and as dancers, we inspire them with our movement. It's very personal in that way--we're given a layout of what they (the choreographers) want us to embody, and each person fulfills it differently."

What're the most fun parts about being involved in "Boundless"?

"It's really rewarding to receive feedback during the showings. The information helps me in the effort to redefine my movement, and ultimately the concert as a whole. Rehearsals are also fun to be a part of--there's a distinct family feel that we share as a collective, and it makes for a great community. And, of course, the cast parties."

What is it about dance that creates such a bonding effect between people?

"I think because dance is such a tactile art form--you put so much of yourself out there, physically and emotionally, that a sense of relationship and unity is inevitable."

Why should people come to see "Boundless"?

"The arts are being more recognized on MSU's campus, and experiencing them makes you a more well-rounded person all together. It's enjoyable to become more familiar with what our campus has to offer, and to see something that your peers are apart of. Plus--the show is really good, too."

Heather Theisen

Freshman -- Education major, dance minor

How did you get involved with MSU Orchesis Dance//"Boundless"?

"I got involved with Orchesis through my friend Hayley, who is one of the choreographers in the show. I danced a lot in high school, and was looking to find a way to keep dancing."

What is it like to work with student choreographers?

"As a freshman, I initially saw them as superior to us as dancers--but over time, I saw how relaxed and chill they were. It's a different experience from what dance was like in high school. In rehearsals we (the dancers) have more freedom artistically, and I feel like I have a greater part in the creation of the dance. You're really able to put your own spin on the movement."

What're the most fun parts about being involved in "Boundless"?

"The showings are one of my favorite parts. It's cool to see what everyone else has been working on, and how different each piece is."

What is it about dance that creates such a bonding effect between people?

"Everyone involved in the show shares a love for dance, which makes it easy to bond with people who have a similar passion to you."

Why should people come to see "Boundless"?

"It's refreshing, because "Boundless" is definitely a change of pace from what people are used to seeing. The concert is different from a show like So You Think You Can Dance, and will expose people to a different side of dance."

Be sure to check out Thomas, Heather and the rest of the amazing cast in "Boundless - 2013 Orchesis Student Dance Concert" this January!!

"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive"
 -- Merce Cunningham

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