“Beneath the Surface: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert”

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After a semester of hard work, SUU’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance presents “Beneath the Surface: An Original Choreographed Dance Concert.”

Kay Andersen, department chair of theatre arts and dance, said the collaborative effort has come together in a successful production.

“This performance of ‘Beneath the Surface’ is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a variety of innovative dance experiences created by our talented students, faculty and guest artists,” Andersen said in a press release. “This process brings a collaboration of student choreographers and our technical theatre students in an experience that is innovative, dynamic and always educational.”

Among those students is Parker Hess, a senior theatre arts major with a dance minor from Rocky Mount, Missouri. Hess choreographed a piece about the human perception of time titled “ATLAS.” He said he came to this idea when he was running out of time on the project.

“Often that time is taken for granted, that there is plenty or more time, but in all reality, it is an aspect in all of our lives that keeps moving forward,” Hess said. “This idea came about in rehearsal because I struggled with what concept I wanted to use and how to communicate that through movement and so at one point I realized I had little time to create the whole piece, so I started over once more and went on this train ride concept of time.”

This process was a learning and growing experience for Hess as he became a “crafter” rather than an “inspirational mover.” He said the lessons he learned by choreographing this piece helped him in real life.

“I had to become more of a crafter and focus on how I was creating dance, and through this, I became less and less frustrated and more satisfied with what I have built,” Hess said. “I also learned a lot about working with my dancers, who do a beautiful job performing the work ‘ATLAS.’ I learned how to ask for details, coaching them to move in particular ways or build movement. I learned a great deal about using the dancers to help create a movement instead of generating it all on my own.”

“Beneath the Surface” runs Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. The final performance is on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. SUU students, faculty and staff can enter free with a valid I.D.


Story by
Jenna Chapman