Students prepare to strut their stuff

By Kevin Wilson: PNT Staff Writer

They take hours of rehearsals. They take years worth of classes. Next weekend, they get to take the stage.

The Student Choreographed Dance Concert, an annual event for Eastern New Mexico University dance students, is set for Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 at the University Theatre Center at ENMU.

Each year, concert coordinator Joseph Sanders said, the department has two main performances.

“In the fall, it is a student choreographed dance concert,” Sanders said. “In the spring, it is a faculty or guest-choreographed dance concert.”

The concert, themed as “Progressions,” has no unifying theme between its nine pieces, other than the fact that each one is choreographed and performed by ENMU students.

“With this show, we did not have a specific theme,” Sanders said. “Each of the choreographers had a style they were going to go with.

“It doesn’t typically stay within a theme, but we don’t always have the wide interpretations of all of the themes. This year we’ve got a nice representation.”

Styles represented include jazz, tap, ballet and modern dance.

The variety may be the concert’s biggest draw, said Amanda Baca-Macias, who will be one of the show’s most visible participants. The show is Baca-Macias’ senior recital,and she has a hand in six of the pieces.

“It offers a wide array of different dance genres, different energies and a lot of different emotions,” Baca-Macias said. “It’s a nice theatrical experience. You can have fun and still be moved by the art.”

Baca-Macias has worked with shows for four years, but admits that having so many selections that are hers makes the show more personal — not to mention time-consuming.

“It’s my choreography,” Baca-Macias said. “I set the pieces and I cast the pieces. I ran the rehearsals and chose the music.

“In running the dance rehearsals, a lot of time you have to delegate what they’re doing. I have to push them hard enough but not exhaust them in the rehearsal process.”

Baca-Macias had to make several choices throughout the semester, which included auditions at the beginning of September and has featured rehearsals since then. One of the hardest choices for the senior is which piece of hers she prefers.

“It’s hard for me to say, because I have an emotional attachment to all of the pieces,” Baca-Macias said. “I think they all pretty much stand out as a whole. The tap stands out (a little more) because it’s a fun piece, where the other five are more emotional pieces.”