The curtains open tonight for the Dance Graduate Choreographic Presentations, a series of performances by groups of graduate dancers from ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.
The performances showcase everything from modern dance and pointe to a little dance theater, and, based on what we saw during a rehearsal session, the students pack enough honesty and energy into every move to make you feel like you're the only other person in the room.
In one performance, the dancers ask the audience to inhale and pretend with them. Amidst the intimate lighting, bold sounds (including live musicians), and understated costuming, it isn't too far of a stretch. Every dancer carries with them a strength that is both careful and unapologetic, and suddenly every strange and beautiful dance is a story we've heard before, but have never seen like this. Whether we realize it or not, we've been participating the entire time.
Producer and dancer Angel Crissman says she wants attendees to leave their reservations about what dance should look like at home and bring an integrated mindset to the performances instead.
"I hope the show pushes audiences to think of dance with a more open mind," Crissman says. "We want the audience to know that they can be creative too."
In addition to Crissman, Inkyung Lee, Ricardo Alvarez, Big Brain finalist Kristopher Pourzal, Emily May, See Cha, Denise Stein, Fumihiro Kikuchi, Grace Gallagher, David Olarte, and Jenny Gerena will present pieces.
The free show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4, in the Margaret Gisolo Dance Studio, located in Room 132 of the Physical Education Building East at Arizona State University in Tempe.
You can snag your tickets starting at 6:30 p.m. before each performance night in the Physical Education Building East lobby.