Piano Composition: Students Collaborate with Dance Majors

Ashley Allen
Staff Writer

PC: Ashley Allen

Lux Corpus Music was performed for the public last Wednesday at the Music Recital Hall. This concert was a collaboration between the piano compositions of several music majors and the works of Mandi Taylor and Brian Winn, graduate students of the dance program.

Eleven compositions were performed; six of those compositions were premiered for the first time Wednesday evening. The works were performed by Suzanne U. Polak, a student of Dr. Douglass.

The concert began on the second floor balcony of the music building. The audience was lined up against the railing, giving everyone an up-close perspective of the works. Dancers were scattered throughout the small amount of space available.

As Suzanne began to play the first piece, “Grand Time,” composed by Treya Nash, the dancers began to move around the piano. The dancers travelled throughout the space, climbing onto and dancing on the stairs overlooking the Recital Hall.

The concert was then moved into the Recital Hall where the remainder of the concert was performed. The next piece, “Breathing in Unison,” by Shar Joyner, was performed in complete darkness. Dancers entered from all corners of the hall and danced throughout the isles of the auditorium. The dancers used small lights to illuminate only their bodies.

The concert continued, each composition with a different work performed by the dancers. A specific composition, “Stoicism,” was composed by Andrew Savage, while the dancers used the piano in a different way.

The dancers entered the space dressed in all white and wearing white gloves. As Suzanne began to play, the dancers started to spin the piano. Suzanne continued to play as she walked along with the piano as it spun and moved from the center of the stage to the back corner.

Jo’Nekiya Elliot, a dancer in the performance, commented on the experience of collaborating with the music students by saying, “It was really interesting to watch the process and to be a part of the collaboration. As dancers, we interpret the music and attempt to tell that story while keeping the integrity of the message the composers intended. So it was fun to physically work with our accompaniment. We usually use music as a two-dimensional thing, but here we got to use the music and piano as a prop for our work.”

The concert concluded with “Free-Floating” by Julian Ward. The dancers returned to the light bulbs used in the beginning of the concert as the piece ended in darkness, the same way it had begun.

Lux Corpus Musica combined two seperate arts that rarely get to collaborate together. It was a new, innovative experience to watch two works come together as cohesive art.

Categories: Features

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