By Erica Fugger
The highly anticipated campus dance concert may seem to be missing from term highlights this winter.Fortunately, the annual performance has not been cancelled or otherwise forgotten. Instead, Paris Danse will premier in May, shortly following the Steinmetz dance performances.
Director of the Dance Department Miryam Moutillet is faced with the prospect of inventing a completely original production each school year. Usually, the dance concert planning begins in August, with only one academic term to organize the show before the winter performance.
Working with French professor Charles Batson (who led the France term abroad to Rennes in the fall), in addition to the assistant director of dance, Marcus Rogers, the decision was conjointly made to delay the production until the spring. The coordinators were especially excited for the possibility of recreating “springtime in Paris” across the Atlantic in Schenectady.
Batson described Paris as “charming, a place of dreams, not realistic. We are looking to go beyond the boundaries, draw upon peoples’ image of Paris and then mess it up.”
With such intentions in mind, the dance production will play out in the form of tableaus, recognizing different eras of French dance. The production will span avant-garde from the end of the 19th century through the Latin American influence in the 1980s.
Moutillet described the structure of the concert to be in the form of a storyline, engaging the audience from start to finish. The performance will be brought together by the Staging Exploration in Theater and Dance (ATH-150) course offered in the spring. Three senior dance projects will also be incorporated into the performance.
Nearly all of the theater and dance department will be involved in the effort, complimented by live music additions.
Rogers, the show choreographer, especially encouraged those who have experience in tap to try out for the show. Plus, with further renditions in ballet, jazz, rhythm, cancan and Charleston, there is much room for variety and all forms of talent.
With five showings usually booked to full capacity, the new performance date builds anticipation to even greater degree. Moutillet described this specific concert as a “special year; the inclusion of the concert at the end of the year will be like a recital and a wonderful culmination of all of the hard work.”
Auditions take place next Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Paris Danse will premier on Wednesday, May 23 with the last show closing on Saturday, May 26.