Shaping Ensemble Dancers

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Organizing choreography and perfecting it in approximately three days may seem overwhelming, but with the help of Bill Evans, a renowned choreographer, the task was less challenging for the Snow College Dance Ensemble.  

Bill Evans discusses with members of the Dance Ensemble what went well in their rehearsal and the necessary changes that need to be made to improve their overall performance. Photo by Adreanna Judd

The Snow College Dance Ensemble was given the opportunity to have a guest choreographer, Bill Evans, and his assistant, Don Halquist, set a piece for them to perform in the dance concert on December 8th and 9th. This was Evans’ first time visiting Snow College and he didn’t know what to expect. Evans states, “The dancers went above and beyond. Each of them have their own unique character and work ethic, and I was impressed with their seriousness in approaching work.” 

Evans has had a lot of experience with all types of dance throughout his life. He is based out of Lehi, Utah where he started at age eight studying tap and ballet in Salt Lake. At age fifteen, he was studying at the University of Utah and he opened several of his own studios in Sandy, Draper, and Lehi while attending school. He went on to dance professionally in New York City before going back to the U of U and pursuing his MFA. Evans continues to pursue his passion for dance by sharing his many works with audiences and performing in various concerts and productions throughout the year. 

Besides performing himself, he also is a very talented choreographer. He has choreographed over 300 pieces in the past and enjoys giving different premises to explore each new dance. For this choreography, he has relied heavily on the dancers on the Ensemble to create material, and he is there to help shape it and organize it. He received inspiration for this choreography from Utah’s landscape and he hopes to capture spirit the indigenous cultures that lived upon this landscape with each dance.  

His goal is that the dancers will “learn to be dynamic and have more phrasing movement.” Evans states, “I want them to bring intent to the movement and bring them together as an ensemble. Commonly in the piece there are no counts, so learning to sense and feel each other and learning how to access their own creative process is essential.” 

Evans’ favorite emotion for dancers to portray from his choreography is sincerity.  “Overall I want them to be honest.” To be human and portray a wide range of emotions is another part of what he wants them to feel.  Evans’ wants his choreography to “let expression grow from their inner intent and portray someone they would be in real life.” 

The Dance Ensemble will perform the piece, CONFLUENCE, choreographed by Bill Evans, in The Snow College Dance Concert on December 8th and 9th at 7:30 p.m. in the Eccles Center. The Snow College Ballroom Company and the SUU Dancers will also perform with the ensemble to bring a variety of different dances together in an effort to create an interesting and diverse concert. Admission will be $5 for the public and $2 for students.   

Adreanna Judd has resided in Sanpete County for most of her life. She grew up in the small town of Gunnison, and it was there that her love for dance was nurtured. Now as a student at Snow College, she is working towards getting her Associates degree in Dance. Along with dance, she also enjoys playing tennis, creating art, and singing. Currently, Adreanna is a member of the Snow College Ballroom Team, and is also a writer and layout designer for the Snowdrift.

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