Winter Dance concert provides an intimate close-up

Dancers reach an emotional moment in "Process," choreographed by Colby Danner. From left: Kayli Sossaman, Madison Steitz
Photo by Mitchell Kraus

In case you missed the concert, don’t fret; here is a video recap:


KAYLA DRAKE | Reporter

The 120-person capacity of the Black Box makes the Winter Dance Concert an intimate experience.

This year was the first time the program put seating on all four sides of the stage. Audience members were able to watch dancers’ expressions from only five feet away and were close enough to hear dancers breathing with the beat of their moves.

The Winter Dance Concert closed last night after showing Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night the concert sold out, packing the Black Box.

What makes the concert unique is, contrary to the Spring Dance Concert, all of the dances were choreographed by students, not professors.

“It’s kind of like no limits or boundaries to what [the choreographers] can do,” freshman dancer Christi Bell said.

Bell said it was rewarding to see “their baby basically be born on stage” and the experience brought her closer to all of the choreographers.

“The challenging part was making sure we, as the performers, portrayed their piece the way that they wanted,” she said.

This year, the lighting was more energetic and interacted with the dances more than just being subtle background colors. According to lighting designer Joel Virtudazo, the theater department upgraded about $500,000 in lighting equipment this year.

Virtudazo said one light can do what 15 used to, which has “changed the entire game of designing.”

Virtudazo said he designs to music more than movement, complementing the dance itself.

“The goal of lighting for dance is to amplify what’s on the dance itself.”

Bell said seeing the lights made her more excited to perform.

“The lighting gives a totally different vibe to not only the audiences, but to the dancers,” she said.


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About Kayla Drake 126 Articles
Kayla is our multimedia producer, so basically all things video and podcasts. She prefers to cover human interest stories because she believes we learn best by hearing personal testimonies of grief, passion, tribulation and activism. When Kayla is not editing or writing, most likely she is either hiking or eating. And by eating she doesn’t mean fast food, college grub, but the St. Louis restaurant scene (which is to die for). She is a proud St. Louisan and is passionate about being a part in the city's redemption. Look for the girl with the stickered out water bottle on campus and say hi.