By: Hannah Bonanducci
The Arts department at Eastern has seen a flurry of events and performances for the semester so far, with the success of The Illusion theater production and the further success of the music department’s Fall Music Festival this past month. Looking forward on the event calendar is the Dimensions production from EU’s dance department, an “entertaining evening of dynamic, ground-breaking choreography” that is sure to “excite the body, challenge the intellect and inspire the soul” according to the advertisement from the Arts department.
The show is slated to present a wide array of themes throughout the night, such as “ ocean tides, toxic friendships, God’s faithfulness, peace after conflict, manic depression and simply letting go” through an even more eclectic range of styles such as modern, jazz and African dance. Michelle Wurtz, one of the show’s advisors and choreographers, shared a little preview into the work behind the upcoming show.
“The show has been going amazingly well,” Wurtz said. “This group of dancers is top notch! Each year the bar gets raised. The struggles are common, such as lack of time with collaborators. We’ve also seen big victories in dancers getting out of their comfort zone to expand their artistry.”
Stephen Welsh also gave an inside perspective of the production. His role, besides “providing the student choreographers and dancers with encouragement,” oversees the work of the choreographers, tech crew and advertising, making sure that they can “produce as professional a show as possible.”
“Pre-tech week is always crazy with last minute additions or subtractions to choreography and a palpable sense of expectancy and nervousness,” Welsh said. “It is all coming together and by opening night we should have all the kinks worked out as long as our focus is on praising God through our talents.”
“One struggle turned into a victory was the fact that we have so many dancers appearing in so many pieces throughout the evening that pauses in between pieces would either confuse or bore the audience,” he continued. “To address this concern we will be showing video clips before each piece as a sneak preview so the audience doesn’t have to just sit in the dark impatiently waiting between each dance.”
But beyond the hard work put into the show, there’s also a lot of thought and emotions the dancers and producers have prepared for the audience as well.
“My theme for the African piece is faith,” Wurtz said. “I’m still struggling from the pandemic and faith has gotten me through so many struggles in the past. I’m hoping the audience feels the level of faith the works portray, which is kind of a ‘faith in audience perception.’”
“All themes for the dances are chosen by the choreographer, be it student, faculty or guest artist,” Welsh said. “The finished works resemble how each choreographer chooses to interpret his/her theme through original movement to make a cohesive whole. These themes are intended to enlighten the audience and challenge them to engage with the artists on stage.”
Overall, there seems to be a wonderfully well-rounded and impactful show coming together for the Eastern community.
“This show defines eclectic dance!” Wurtz said. “Something for everyone! I couldn’t be more proud of everyone and can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction.”
“The dancers are performing at a professional level and I am so proud of each and every one of them,” Welsh said. “Seeing them invest themselves in the creative process with total commitment is very rewarding. People should come see this show not only to be entertained during a stressful time of the semester, but to also see if they can grasp the content of each dance as it unfolds kinetically on stage.”
Dimensions tickets are available online and are $5 for Eastern students. The show will be running on Dec. 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m., so be sure to take a break and stop by to see another wonderful performance from the Arts department!