Snow College Dance Ensemble, Ballroom Dance Company, and the Snow Krew will be performing their end of semester concert on December 9th and 10th.
The groups have been practicing since the end of September. The contemporary pieces are choreographed by the dance instructor, Dmitri Peskov, and by students.
Peskov said that some of the themes of their dance numbers are inspired by his Russian background. He was born in the Soviet Union and lived there for 13 years before moving to Switzerland with his family. “I really like to focus on what makes us individuals and what it means to be pressured to be a certain way, so I liked to play with that in these dances,” said Peskov.
Despite the intense themes and, at times, somber movements, contemporary dance can still be fun. Raquel Tuttle, a dancer for the Dance Ensemble, said, “I told my friends that it’s okay to laugh. Some of the things we’re doing up here are weird so it’s okay to laugh at what you see on stage.”
Dancer and choreographer, Maddie Brunt played with both serious and fun in the piece that she created. Entitled, Cirque du SNOWleil, her dance has funny clowns at the beginning before taking a serious, dark turn. “In most dances, there is only one emotion being shown throughout that particular section,” said Brunt, “but I wanted there to be a completely switch. I want the audience to start by feeling one way, in this case happy, and then turn it around in the middle.”
While Brunt focused on the emotion involved in dance, Shelem Hatch was more inspired by tempo while choreographing. Her piece, which she tentatively calls Gravity, involves tennis balls being thrown and bounced on certain beats. “It was interesting practicing because you had to be very aware of how high you drop it or when the right time is to throw it so that you stay on a pulse,” said Hatch. She also incorporated other aesthetic aspects by working with lights and patterns, while still being aware of the sounds and time.
The hardworking group has spent many hours working on all of their dances, and desire to share their craft with an audience, despite any skepticism that viewers may have with “modern dance.” Brooklen Huntington, another member of Dance Ensemble, said, “You have to have an open mind when coming to this. Be willing to be open to new things and you’ll enjoy it.”
The end of semester concert, named New Beginnings, showcases different types of dance and works from several choreographers. They perform this on December 9th and 10th at 7:30 pm in the Eccles Center.