Student dancers from groups including Attitude Dance Company, Dance Extension, Fusion Dance Company, imPulse Dance Company and Brown Ground Breakin’ united this weekend on the Fall Dance Concert stage. The concert, which took place in the Ashamu Dance Studio, featured all student-choreoghraphed dances and was produced by Julie Adams Strandberg, artist-in-residence and senior lecturer in theatre arts and performance studies.
The annual Fall Dance Concert was coordinated by Sock and Buskin and Body and Sole, a coalition of dancers, dance companies, dance clubs and dance teams that serves as a liaison between the TAPS department and the Brown dance community. The concert brought together the entire dance community, giving students a chance to express themselves and showcase their talents.
The dances addressed a range of topics including social anxiety, loneliness, equality and the Black Lives Matter movement. There were all types of dances, satisfying all types of dance lovers. Some dances were upbeat; some were slower. Others even included poetry, which added another element of engagement.
The concert moved the crowd emotionally and mentally. While watching, the audience seemed both in awe and in deep thought. The dancers fed off the audience’s positive energy, which made for an environment that could only be accomplished through dance.
“Choreographers submit their dance to a panel who decides which pieces are included in the show,” the Attitude Dance co-directors wrote in an email to The Herald. Two Attitude members — Casey Wu ’17 and Emily Small, a Rhode Island School of Design student — had pieces accepted to the concert this year.
Strandberg, who produced the show, is also an accomplished dancer and dance coordinator. She co-founded the Rhode Island Dance Repertory Company and the American Dance Legacy Institute. Strandberg, who has been producing the Fall Dance Concert for many years, said she has stuck to the same process each year.
Each dance has two previews, she said. After the first, student choreographers receive feedback from a board that includes Strandberg, students and faculty members. “They then have to work with a faculty mentor to work on the notes they have received and to complete the piece before the second preview at which time the final show is chosen. They then still have two weeks to rehearse and polish,” she said. The dancers and choreographers go through this process every year, she added, and it always pays off in the end.
Anna Bjella ’18 was one of this year’s student choreographers. Though she and some other students had prior experience with choreography, others were trying it for the first time, she said.
“It was nice to be able to have someone who’s been doing this for a long time provide a new perspective on my work,” Bjella said.