In one piece, a dancer emerges out of body wraps. Another dance showcases the interactions of people as they meet. In another, the occupants of two adjacent apartments interrupt each other's lives.
According to artistic director Penny Hutchinson, these are just some of the seven pieces that will be performed in “Fall Into Dance,” a student-choreographed performance presented by Western Washington University's Dance Program.
“Fall Into Dance” features original choreography by the students in Western's advanced choreography class and guest choreographer Kraig Patterson. Patterson has danced with the Mark Morris Dance Group for many years and has his own company in New York City. He has also choreographed four works for famed dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Company.
“We're very lucky to have Kraig,” Hutchinson said. “Kraig is doing a new, 20-minute piece with original music by Mike Bajuk [WWU Dance Program staff accompanist]. It's a very complex piece, and it's been a real challenge for the students.”
“Having Kraig here is a pretty big treat for the program and the campus,” program coordinator Jessica Stahl said. “It's a very rare opportunity.”
This is the first year that “Fall Into Dance” will be held in the fall. Previously titled “Dance Works,” the concert is usually held during winter quarter, but was rescheduled to be part of the lineup of other annual concerts held at Western. To accommodate this change, the students have had to produce their pieces in a very short amount of time.
“The choreographers auditioned dancers the first week of fall quarter,” Stahl said. “They started rehearsals immediately after that. A lot of thought and work goes into this.”
Hutchinson is confident in the talent and professional attitude of the choreographers.
“It'll be a really sophisticated production,” she said. “This is not low-level student choreography.”
This year is also unique in the fact that the students have been given more creative freedom than in past years. While still receiving feedback from Hutchinson, dance program director Nolan Dennett and fellow choreographers, the students have been able to carry out their ideas in whatever ways they chose.
“I'm very impressed with the maturity of their creative vision,” Hutchinson said. “They've shown tremendous growth, and the sky's the limit. I think we'll all be very proud of them. “
The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 7 and 8 at the Performing Arts Center Mainstage. Tickets cost $8 for students, $9 for seniors and WWU staff and $11 general admission. Tickets can be purchased at the WWU Box Office, via (360) 650-6146, online at http://www.tickets.wwu.edu or at the door.