Carnival of the Animals

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The music department presented The Carnival of the Animals Oct. 4; featuring the talent of students and faculty in dance, music, theatre and art.

The Ugly Duckling and The Grinch were performed along with the major headline performance of the night.

The chamber orchestra, dance department faculty and a few dance students performed the first half of the show during The Carnival of the Animals. The music, composed by Camille Saint-Saens, features 14 movements with each one representing a different animal.

Between each movement, Lisa Hall Hagen, the performance’s narrator, would recite excerpts of a poem by Ogden Nash. Hagen said The Carnival of the Animals is a, “solute to feathers, furs and fins.”

Doris Trujillo, dance department chair, choreographed the movement where the dancers transformed into animals. The most impressive movement was the Tortoises performed by Amy Markgraf-Jacobson, dance education program coordinator, and Angie Banchero-Kelleher, modern dance professor.

Markgraf-Jacobson and Banchero-Kelleher portrayed turtles through dance beautifully as they used sustained movement with a bound flow, a type of energy movement in dance that is a part of the Bartentieff Fundamentals. They danced like cutting through cold butter, which really gave feel of the slow reptile.

The Cuckoo was memorable to the audience. Ransom Wilde, a UVU behavioral studies major, expressed how much he enjoyed that particular dance.

“My favorite number was the cuckoo bird. It seemed incredibly expressive. I saw things that I have never seen before,” Wilde said.

Jamie A. Johnson, assistant dance professor for the ballet department, danced on stage around the orchestra as she leaped in a circular pathway. As she danced, two oboes accompanied her, one of the musicians playing in the audience and the other on stage to give the audience a true echo effect.

The night was filled with enticing movement, expressive music and laughter from the audience. The most comedic performance of the night would be the movement titled Pianists. Two piano players showed great character playing simple music while purposely playing the music badly to give the audience something to laugh about.

Doug Smith, a percussion professor, is the one who brought this night of fun to campus. “This show was my idea. I had played The Carnival of the Animals last spring at a concert series in Salt Lake called Nova,” Smith said.

Smith also mentioned how awesome the piece of music was and how it should be brought to UVU, but this time with dancers. He originally approached the dance department asking for students, but the faculty replied with, “We can still dance.”

Wilde mentioned how he appreciated seeing his fellow classmates and some of his professors on stage.

“It was entertaining to see that,” Wilde said.

The Carnival of the Animals was a one night only performance that brought in a full audience with only a few seats to spare. A collaboration between varying departments within UVU’s School of the Arts was a special sight that will hopefully come back to campus next year.