In addition to being a showcase of dance coursework, this weekend’s Spring Dance Concert features work of two Bowdoin alumni—choreographer Natalie Johnson ’13 and lighting designer Tyler Micoleau ’91. 

As the annual culmination of a semester’s work in several advanced dance classes, the concert showcases performances from Paul Sarvis’s Modern I Repertory and Performance, Gwyneth Jones’ Modern III: Technique and Charlotte Griffin’s Advanced Dance Composition. 
The concert is a mix between live performances by the students and guest artists Anna Hulse and Justine Lee, and a series of videos featuring dances by Griffin’s class. 

Griffin’s class performs the first piece, a movement improvisation composition, live. This opening piece is designed to demonstrate the work of the class in exploring movement and dance through improvisation. The audience is also called upon to provide three words, which the dancers then embody, working as a team.

“We ask for audience participation and get three new words every night. We work together as a team, but also as individuals to create choreography on the spot. It’s something we’ve worked on every day in class,” said Arhea Marshall ’15. “We’re opening our class to other people now to see our process.”

The second piece Marshall is involved in is the screen dance that grew out of collaborative projects with other classes. The dance is displayed on a video monitor interspersed between live performances. 

“Our whole class did collaborative projects with the advanced musical composition class and an avant-garde subversive film class,” said Marshall. “All the videos that are shown in the spring dance show are those collaborations coming to life.” 

The music throughout the screen dance is an original composition by Bowdoin students, and all the dancing is original choreography, usually from movement improvisations. Eight Bowdoin students came together to create the collaborative work and to work through the cinematography.

Adrienne Hanson ’15 is a student performer in Jones’ Modern III class. 

“This piece was inspired a lot by opera. All of the performance classes are collaborative, and at the beginning of the semester, [Jones] gives us all a lot of smaller prompts,” said Hanson. “We then work independently or in smaller groups to come up with different sequences, and then she fits them together into a piece.”

Hanson has been in four dance shows and has danced with Jones before. 

“I think that we’ve really come together. We all feel like we know the piece and it is in our bodies,” said Hanson. 

“Dance is a great way of communicating for me. I love dance. I didn’t really train as a dancer outside of Bowdoin,” said Marshall. “It’s provided great opportunities to meet other people here at Bowdoin and to find out where you are in your day and your process.”

The show was first performed last night and will be staged tonight and tomorrow night from 8 to 9 p.m. Tickets are available for free at the Smith Union Information Desk and will also be available at the door. The performances will be held at Pickard Theater, located in Memorial Hall, and are open to the public.