UT dancers explore unique realms

Sarah Pressley

As the curtain opens and the lights come up, a group of dancers pays tribute to the sun, tap dances to techno music and gets funky to a Gregorian hymn. They dance to illustrate their unique stories of addiction, remembrance and joy.

This Saturday, Dance Action, a UT student organization, will perform “Students Exhibiting Experimental Dance,” a dance show produced, choreographed and performed by UT students. The performance gives student dancers and choreographers a chance to explore new realms of choreography and production.

“I think that all choreography is experimental because you are playing around with movement,” said Amanda Gladu, an art history sophomore who choreographed for and will be dancing in the show.

Students are playing with movement, but they also have the opportunity to experiment with props, costumes and the intellectual aspects of their art form. Many of the students involved have been working all semester to create and perfect their original dances.

“My dance incorporates sign language,” said Christina Robertson, a dance freshman who choreographed part of the show. “Dance is about communication, so to have another form of communication onstage is really neat to me.”

However, not all of the pieces are as serious. Some students chose to get a little funkier.

“It’s basically an image we have of monks wearing sneakers, and underneath their robes, they’re kind of funky and know how to move,” said dance senior Lisa Kobdish about the piece she created with Mariclaire Gamble, also a dance senior.

For others, this was an opportunity not only to explore the realm of dance, but to explore within themselves, as well.

“Usually, I’m more hesitant about performing a solo. I love to choreograph, but I’ve never really taken the time to choreograph for myself,” dance sophomore Caitlin Poulton said. “It was nice to indulge in that and work for myself. It was something I felt I wanted and needed to do.”

“It’s an opportunity to use your creativity,” Robertson said. “Your teachers get to see what you can do, and you get to work with dancers you don’t usually get to work with, too.”