Arts & Culture

Dancers of Diligence

By Rebecca Dow

Come one, come all — enjoy the show as Jessamyn Schmidt’s Dance Performance class expresses a combination of art through movement, consisting of techniques and ideas explored and refined over a semester of collaborative dance. Their performance will take place in Jewett Hall Auditorium on the South Portland Campus on Friday, May 11, beginning at 2 p.m.

According to Schmidt, her students’ performance “will be a woven tapestry of some of the movement ideas [that] the dancers found interesting and wanted to pursue.” The group will consist of six women, many of whom have never performed a choreographed dance in front of an audience before. Since this is the first year SMCC has held a Dance Performance class, we will all surely be in for a treat.

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Jessamyn Schmidt’s Dance Performance class practices a sequence. Photo by Jessamyn Schmidt.

“We’ve used a number of improvisational structures to explore, generate, inspire and discover movement ideas,” says Schmidt. “We’ve then taken ‘kernels’ and shaped them into a sequence that seems to have an organic flow.” For those of you unfamiliar with what a “kernel” is, they are “little glimmers or nuggets of ideas that seem to have potential, and reveal themselves during the improvisational exploration process. For example, a kernel could be a dynamic connection between two or more dancers in which case we may develop a duet or a trio,” according to Schmidt.

During the performance, dancers will think and act abstractly, exploring both indoors and outdoors of Jewett Hall; audience members will be expected to stand for the duration of the show, and follow the dancers as they express their acquired talents in ways that leave each viewer with a different perspective and unique experience. Dance Performance (THEA 156) will be offered at SMCC every spring semester from now onward for students already registered for, or who have already taken Modern Dance (THEA 155). All are welcome to attend, and witness SMCC’s first ever dance performance class show the world what they’ve learned.

Below is a statement from Emily Morrison, a student attending Schmidt’s class:

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to be part of this amazing group,” said Emily, “It has been an amazing experience. We’ve all learned so much . . . through this process, and have been able to create something original and exciting. . . Collaborating as a group, we can create something that a single person couldn’t create on their own. Dancing gives me confidence in my ability to create and collaborate. She goes on to say that, “It can be a great form of expression, and a way to become comfortable with yourself. Through dance we find our challenges and push ourselves to overcome these objections and limitations. It creates a stronger sense of self and helps to show us our strengths and weaknesses and how to address them.” — Emily Morrison

Categories: Arts & Culture

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