The Collegian
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

University Dancers @30 performance preview

The University Dancers will celebrate their 30th anniversary with the performance of their annual spring dance show, @30, which will debut Friday, Feb. 27 in the Alice Jepson Theater at Modlin Center for the Arts.

The show is the result of collaboration between guest choreographers, University of Richmond students and faculty members from different academic departments, and is named in honor of the University Dancers' 30th anniversary.

Anne Van Gelder, University Dancers artistic director, said this year’s ensemble would include pieces choreographed by two students: junior Kit Knapp and senior Nathan Watwood. Watwood, who is a chemistry and physics double major and a dance minor, will use the physics department’s drone in his piece “Into the Dark.”

Van Gelder said Knapp and Watwood were both paired with student designers who worked on the lighting for their pieces.

Guest choreographers such as Norbert de La Cruz III, a New York-based artist, also prepared some of the pieces that will be performed next weekend, Van Gelder said. According to his website, De la Cruz was named Joffrey Ballet’s 2014 choreographer of color.

Knapp said preparation for the show began as early as the second week of the academic year.

“We hold University Dancers auditions the first weekend of the fall semester, all the way back in late August or early September,” Knapp said. “From then on, we take weekly ballet, modern and jazz technique classes as well as master classes of varying styles.”

“We also hold auditions and rehearsals for faculty pieces and student pieces in the fall.”

From there, Knapp said, dancers start a regular rehearsal schedule that consists of one of the technique classes followed by rehearsal for @30 pieces. Knapp said the time put into the creation of @30 varied from five to 15 hours per week.

The performances for University Dancers @30 show will be 7:30 on Feb. 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. on March 1. Tickets are available for purchase on the Modlin Center for the Arts website.

Contact reporter Maria Eugenia Fernandez at mariaeugenia.fernandez@richmond.edu

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