Gather around children, it’s bodily experimentation time. And no, I’m not writing of some new wave sex-ed class. No, no—New Music/New Dance has come to visit us again, this year promising a new variety of experimental collaborations between new works of music and dance.
The particulars: volunteer choreographers and musicians collaborate to simultaneously compose an original dance piece within a 4-6 week period.
The result: seven choreographers and about eighteen dancers at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the PAC Concert Hall. Tickets are $5.
“The dancing is fresh, unpolished, and full of emotion. Without faculty expectations or grading students can explore areas they have never been able to,” Ty Vennewitz, Dance major and Artistic Director of New Music/New Dance said of the new works. This is Vennewitz’s third year in New Music, but his first as Artistic Director. He is also co-choreographing a piece with Jess Hoage, also a dance major. This year’s program promises to be eclectic, and includes dance pieces with traditional music, spoken word and dancer’s vocalizations used as accompaniment.
Brenda Brown, a dance major, and first time choreographer said of the process, “It was almost scary for a while, knowing I didn’t know what my music was going to be like. It’s hard to get a feel for what you’re doing. But when you just have a whole bunch of bodies and no set music, you just go for it.”
Though the process is short and the pieces may not be as polished as other productions, both Brown and Vennewitz find it freeing. “All these students combine their artistic energies, and spend their valuable time in creating something from nothing . .. experimenting doesn’t always yield fantastic results, but it is so important if we want the art form to grow, “ Vennewitz said.  
“It’s a crazy process that’s all student run and organized with no faculty input, it’s really quite a feat for it to be completely student run and also be a successful production,” Brown acknowledged.
In its ninth year, New Music/New Dance has become a Western tradition. However, usually it has been more oriented around and initiated from the dance element.
“I really hope for the future that the music department can be a bigger part of New Music. I think it should be more cooperative,” Brown said.
New Music/New Dance holds auditions annually within the first three weeks of Fall Quarter. Auditions are open to all interested and musicians are always needed as well.