The long-term efforts of the Choreography Club were featured in the Ragan Theater this last weekend. The club has been working on routines all throughout the summer, and on Aug. 24 and 25, they had the opportunity to show audiences their best work in their concert Innovate.
Over summer break, the club has been meeting to create new pieces and continue working on technique. They had four rotations that gave choreographers two to three weeks to create routines that would be premiered at an informal showing. Ten dance numbers were then picked to be polished and performed in Innovate.
The show began with the suspenseful piece Waiting, choreographed by Shain Salmon. Heavy music filled with drums droned in the background as dancers embodied anguish. Salmon said that Waiting was inspired by a piece of art of the same name found at the Ririe Woodbury Museum. It was a monochrome image with gravestones and a loading text bubble above it. Salmon set out to incorporate how she felt when looking at the picture into a dance number.
The show also had abstract pieces that reflected the creativity of the group and their abilities to create lively imagery. Set under blue lighting, ethereal music and atmosphere, Christian Tippetts portrayed the journey of a jelly spark “pinging through tentacled electrical signals” in Mama Jelly.
Uncontrollable by Alexis Whitecar illustrated alien hand syndrome in an eerie number where dancers seemed to be unable to control all of their actions. Hostile Necessity by Arnett imitated catci, life under the hot desert sun and the need for water. Wise use of shaping among dancers helped present this idea, set against sound effects that imitated the desert.
Other numbers explored the challenges of life. Choreographer Emily Morris interviewed friends and family with depression and anxiety. Her research was used to create movements that would portray the difficulties and coping mechanisms for those diagnosed with these illnesses in For the 18%.
The Aftershocks was an emotional number by Francesca DeMartino. Intense music and movement explored the painful grieving process a person experiences when they lose a loved one to suicide.
A Drop in a Sea of People, which was inspired from music by Utah band L’anarchiste, explored the emotions of feeling alone in a crowd through fluid movements.
Isabella Arnett, co-founder, president and modern dance senior said that the club was started with the intent to provide more opportunities to perform and choreograph. The club extends its hand to everyone, including those that aren’t in the dance program and those who are not UVU students. Arnett said that it allows freedom to choreograph in a safe environment. Choreographers have a platform for creative freedom and the club provides a sense of unity.
Arden Laga, vice president and a senior also majoring in modern dance, said that the club is a great opportunity for young choreographers. It provides them a chance to start choreographing before they are graded for it, and it makes it less nerve-wracking when they begin classes with choreography assignments.
“UVU is a great place to make a difference..If there is something that is lacking or needs change, clubs are a great way to do that,” said Arnett.