Mississippi School of the Arts seniors share love of dance in fall concert
Seniors from the Mississippi School of the Arts will communicate their love of dance through original choreographed performances during the school’s fall dance concert this week.
Art supporters from all over the area are encouraged to attend Thursday’s and Friday’s shows at 7 p.m. in the Enochs Black Box Theatre on the MSA campus, as six MSA seniors direct and perform the eighth annual show.
There will be 17 performances total within the show, MSA dance arts instructor Tammy Stanford said.
“We have five dancers and one theatre student who are running the show,” Stanford said. “They have collaborated and co-choreographed the senior concert.”
The seniors — Katlyn Stamps, Andrea Farve, Morgan Goodwin, Passion Hinnant, Grace Sanders and Katilin Whitehead — will each perform a solo piece and then come together for a group piece.
“Each of the five dancers will perform an original choreographed piece that they began working on last year as juniors,” Stanford said. “They have taken their works from last year, revamped them and developed them further.”
In addition to their solo and group pieces, Farve, Sanders, Goodwin and Whitehead will perform pieces they are to use as college auditions, she said.
The 10 junior dancers will also perform a co-choreographed piece that has been created from the students’ studies thus far, Stanford said.
“The additional pieces will be a collaboration of the dance students and students in other disciplines,” she said. “One really exciting aspect of this show will be the two filmic works the students will perform. One of the works I created and the other a student created.”
Filmic works are those relating to movies or cinematography.
All of the shows’ chorography has either been developed by the students or has been pulled from the University of Southern Mississippi and MSA’s dance archives.
Stanford said the process of directing and performing the dance concert proves to be extremely important to the students’ development as artists and leaders.
“The seniors not only perform, but they direct the whole show,” she said. “It’s important because they learn the responsibilities of creating a show — developing a rehearsal schedule, casting dancers, learning how to polish a work. They find their artistic voice through this process.”
The process becomes a teaching tool for Stanford every year.
“We only get the same group of students once,” she said. “I don’t do the work for them. I train them how to do it.”
The senior dancers are not the only ones involved in the concert, Stanford said.
“There is lots of volunteerism from other disciplines,” she said. “Other departments perform in the program, as well.”
Stanford said the students put many hours into the concert.
“I encourage the community to come out and take a look at what we are producing,” she said. “The level of choreography our students produce will match any college level. Our students are inundated in an environment where their artistic voice and self-discipline grows simultaneously. This makes them very successful in their futures.”
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