Theater Arts & Dance preps for spring dance concert

Sara Topliff, Reporter

The California Lutheran University Theater Arts & Dance Department will be holding a spring dance concert titled “Expressive Symphonies” where students will showcase the dance pieces that they have been working on throughout the spring semester. 

Expressive Symphonies will feature guest choreographer Taryn Vaner Hoop, a professor at Loyola Marymount University and co-founder of Summation Dance Company. Brown said that Hoop choreographed a dance piece and taught it to the Choreography I class for the spring dance concert. 

“I would basically describe it as art…It’s more about telling a story and doing something different with your body, making a different shape, moving at a different time,” Brown said.

Junior dance minor Theresa Brown said that the Expressive Symphonies will feature a collection of works by the Choreography I class that express different dance styles. 

“People can expect a lot of artistic movement. It’s not gonna be like what people are used to. It’s a slightly different style of dance, but it’s basically how people try to tell stories through movement in their body,” Brown said. 

Brown said that the Choreography I class has been creating and choreographing their dance pieces since the beginning of the semester. 

“We’ve been working on how to create dances, how to create movement, how to work with music and also learning how to stage and costume dance pieces,” Brown said. 

Brown, as a department assistant for the Theater Arts & Dance Department, said she has been planning and preparing for the concert alongside professor Stephanie Liapis and designing posters to advertise on social media. Liapis teaches the Choreography I class and her students speak very highly of her. 

Sophomore dance minor Courtland Witt said that in preparation for the spring dance concert, rehearsals are held at least once a week for about an hour or two leading up to the event. 

“I prepare by having rehearsals with my dancers. There’s a lot of planning and thinking ahead to communicate your point across,” Brown said. 

Witt said that the Choreography I class has bonded throughout the semester and she is excited to experience the concert with her friends and see everyone’s dances. 

“It’s definitely been a new experience for all of us. We’re all getting one foot in figuring everything out…Seeing something I created be performed on a stage is so awesome to see,” Witt said.

Brown said that this experience has given the choreography students a chance to take a simple dance piece and turn it into a story. 

“You’re able to take something simple or abstract and you’re able to make it something bigger. You can take a chair and make it mean so much more, you’re able to make art based on something people wouldn’t always consider art,” Brown said.

Expressive Symphonies will take place on May 5 and 6 at the Preus Brandt Forum at 8 p.m. and is open to the public with free admission.