By Daisy Rodriguez, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University Theater is hosting its first annual dance concert “Dynamic Dances” from Friday, April 23 until Sunday, April 25 online.
Kristin Dowdy, instructor of theater dance, is serving as director and choreographer of Dynamics Dances. She said the dance concert will showcase different genres such as jazz, tap, ballet, modern, musical theater and lyrical dance.
The dances were choreographed by students, faculty and two restagings of famous dance works. “Dynamic Dances is a series of 11 dance pieces that were crafted by myself and students, as well as two professional works that I restaged on our students,” Dowdy said.
She said the dances are stand-alone pieces designed to “evoke joy, contemplation or entertain the audience.”
Dowdy said one of her favorite pieces from the concert is “Strike Up the Band” which is tilted after the musical composition by George Gershwin.
She said, “‘Strike Up the Band’ is a tap duet that is inspired by a traditional chorus line from classical musicals. Think precision, unison, showgirls, kick lines, sparkles and pizzazz.”
She said it is the opening number of the concert, and it brings a “dynamic and vibrant energy to the performance.”
Dowdy said, “Another dance that I am excited about presenting is a large group modern dance that incorporates many of the techniques, terms and skills that we discussed in our Body in Performance class this semester.
“The dance explores the expansiveness of the cosmos. My inspiration for the movement and costuming of this piece was a photo of a distant galaxy. The costumes are pinks and purples, and I incorporated movements and gestures that expand and contract, swirl and float to replicate the endless majesty of space.”
Matt Nall is the technical director for the concert. Lauren Philips is the stage manager, sound board operator and logo designer. Gavin Johnson is the light board operator.
Kristin Dowdy, James Mattingly of Stanford, Ky., Emily Popham of Brandenburg, Ky., Morgan Rayhill of Shepherdsville, Ky., Natalie Shadrick a senior of Paducah, Ky., Caleb Shelton of Crab Orchard, Ky. and Abigail Tollison of Glasgow, Ky. are lighting designers.
Kristin Dowdy, Sinjin Fuchs of Eubank, Ky., Emma-Kait Grider of Louisville, Ky., Sarah Peterson of Columbia, Ky. and Gabriel Taylor of Fisherville, Ky. are costume designers.
Dancers are Milan Bailey of Louisville, Ky., Caitlin Cumbee of Clifty, Ky., Sinjin Fuchs of Eubank, Ky., Emma-Kait Grider of Louisville, Ky., Elinor Keck of LaGrange, Ky., James Mattingly of Stanford, Ky., Vanessa Mejia of Springfield, Ky., M’ako Nakasuga of Kohnan, Japan, Kassie Parker of Campbellsville, Ky., Anna Peterson of Campbellsville, Ky., Sarah Peterson of Columbia, Ky., Emily Popham of Brandenburg, Ky., LaShawna Polite of McDonough, Ga., Katelyn Smith of Somerset, Ky., Gabriel Taylor of Fisherville, Ky., Jasmine Verrett of Elizabethtown, Ky. and Ryan Welch of Frankfort, Ky.
LaShawna Polite, a sophomore at CU who is majoring in psychology and social work with a minor in dance, said, “Dynamic Dances in my opinion is all about grasping emotion and expression from dance. Whether we impersonate love or a heartbreak, Kristin Dowdy has taken the time with me and my co-dancer to be more open about how we portray our movements. ‘Dynamic’ is the perfect word to describe this concert, and I am really excited for people to see the finished product!”
Milan Bailey, a junior at CU who is majoring in political science, said, “This upcoming dance excites me because I feel like it very accurately represents the issues we all faced and felt in 2020. The piece that I’m in is tilted ‘Isolationism,’ and it perfectly captures how lonely and isolated summer 2020 was and reminds us that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”
“I’m excited for the dance concert, and I believe everything will run smoothly and everyone will have fun,” Jasmine Verrett, a sophomore at CU who is majoring in psychology, said.
Dowdy said, “As the director and primary choreographer, I am very excited for the premiere of Dynamic Dances, the first of hopefully one of many annual dance concerts at Campbellsville.
“This performance, though it will be presented online rather than for a live audience, will be the first time many of our students perform a dance that isn’t a section from a larger production such as a play or musical.
“I believe this concert will provide new and wonderful opportunities to our student performers and to the campus community. I am hopeful Dynamic Dances continues to expand interest for our new dance minor, gives students a movement outlet and brings joy, culture and a newfound understanding and appreciation of the beauty of dance to Campbellsville.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of studying including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.