UM’s Dance Up Close: A sensory extravaganza

University of Montana student choreographers share solo works online Nov. 12-22

On Stage

The University of Montana shines a spotlight on student choreographers with its “Dance Up Close” production, which will be available online Nov. 12-22.

“Dance Up Close” is a uniquely intimate production that provides a platform for choreographers to experiment with solo compositions and performances. This year’s production is a series of 10 solos that range from traditional theatrical settings to dancers entangling themselves in the wilderness of Montana.

The virtual production exclusively features senior creative research projects by undergraduate dance majors. Choreographers work collaboratively with design and technology faculty and students to achieve a complete visual translation of their choreographic intention.

“Our dancers also use movement as a vehicle to research diverse themes under the mentorship of faculty and peers,” said Brooklyn Draper, a UM visiting assistant professor of dance. “Let yourself be engulfed in the sensory extravaganza that is ‘Dance Up Close!’”

General admission tickets cost $12; senior and student tickets are $8; and admission for UM employees is $10. Tickets for the online production are available online.

Among the choreographers presenting work in this year’s event is Noelle Huser, a senior earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance. She will present new work titled “Limelight,” which she describes as “a way of chipping away at the marble of some dream that already lives inside of her.”

Huser is researching her identity as a performer. “I have been performing my whole life – we all have,” she says. “This piece comes from what I have found there, living inside of the limelight.”

Ruby Roberts, a dance Bachelor of Arts candidate, will present a work inspired by the timeline of her family history. She is creating a screendance that she calls “a creative expression of the array of emotions I carry with me pertaining to ancestral trauma, mental health, civic duty, familial nourishment and, most importantly, remembering who I am beyond all of these constraints.”

“Dance Up Close” will feature a special bonus track created by Shenoah Curley-Wildshoe, a senior in the dance program. She is researching dance as a form of ministry, which she says “explores themes as the relationship between movement and our spirituality, how our holistic selves can be affected by our environment and how we define peace and go about obtaining it as individuals.”

During the pandemic, the School of Theatre and Dance continues to make art while upholding ourselves to safe approaches. All interactions between staff, production and performers follow strict COVID-19 safety protocols to ensure the wellness of our theatre and dance community.

For more information, contact Draper at 208-670-0593 ([email protected]) or Heidi Eggert at 406-529-5401 ([email protected]). Find more information about the entire fall 2020 UM theater and dance mainstage and studio season online.

The mainstage season and Studio Series for Fall 2020 will be presented virtually on patrons’ favorite content-consuming device in safe and innovative ways with the help of online ticketing platform ShowTixs4U. Shows are recorded, and purchased tickets will grant online access to each production.