DANCE EXTRAVAGANZA 2016
Performances: December 2 & 3 at 7:30pm & 10pm
Dance Extravaganza, commonly referred to as Dance X, offers students the opportunity to have their choreography fully staged and seen by large audiences.
The Lewis & Clark College Dance Program believes in empowering students to create and produce dance at the highest possible level. Since it’s beginning in 1996, over a thousand students have participated in making Dance X what it is today.
Nineteen years ago Theater Major Emily Stone brainstormed the first Dance Extravaganza as an experimental non-credited theatrical dance performance in the Black Box. A total of twelve students were collectively the producers, choreographers, performers, costume designers and lighting designers. The atmosphere was truly circuslike with the overflow of audience members sitting in the catwalks as well as the tech crew doing vaudeville-esque numbers in between the pieces. After several successful years of sell out runs in the Black Box the show eventually involved faculty and staff and was moved onto the Main Stage. It is now structured as a course (TH252 Rehearsal and Performance, Dance) that sequences students through TH308 (Dance Composition and Improvisation) in preparation to choreograph (499 Independent Study). Dance X annually showcases the work of five to seven choreographers and has involved up to 80 dancers.
Each spring, Dance X pieces have the opportunity to be performed and adjudicated at the Northwest Regional American College Dance Conference. I take a group of students to this conference annually where we join thirty-five participating college and university dance programs to study, perform and view new dances. Lewis & Clark dancers have been recognized and invited to perform at two regional gala concerts. Notably Lewis and Clark student choreographer Suna Hall received the honor of performing her piece at the National American College Dance Conference Gala Concert in Washington DC.
Though the Extravaganza is now formally presented on the Main Stage, we still encourage choreographers to experiment with new ideas and to investigate and invent authentic movement vocabulary. Student choreographers are encouraged to combine skills they develop in class with their own aesthetic sensibility. We invite those students with a high level of training and technical ability and those students with no training or performance experience to audition. I applaud the fine work of our choreographers and performers as well as all the artists’ and technicians’ efforts that occur behind the scenes.
~Susan E. Davis, Dance Program Head