The words “introductory” and “professional” aren’t often used in the same sentence.
However, they will come together when the Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) arrives on campus Thursday, Oct. 25, to conduct a master class for Dance 101 students.
In Dance 101, students “study the work of major choreographers by watching videos and going to performances,” said Janice Kovar, instructor of dance. “I have two sections of energetic students who are eager to learn new dance styles. The master class will be a great experience for them. Not only will the students be going to Geneva to see Philadanco (perform Oct. 27), but they will have an opportunity to do some of the movements they will be watching.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for our students to work with professional dancers and ask about the professional world of dance,” said Anne Weed, chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts. “We hope to continue bringing similar [professional groups] to campus to enrich our cultural offerings.”
Philadanco’s visit is made possible by a grant secured by Geneva Concerts, which is hosting the group’s Geneva performance. Geneva Concerts Board Member Ford Weiskittel (father-in-law of Assistant Professor of English Alexis Haynes) presented the opportunity to the College and Michelle Ikle, head of Hobart and William Smith’s dance department, helped coordinate the master class for Keuka.
The Philadanco visit will follow the fall theatre production, Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, being staged Oct. 18-21.
Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Mark Wenderlich, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical based on the comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus. It is the story of Pseudolus, a slave, and his attempts to win his freedom.
“The students have long been pushing to do a musical, so Mark said he’d give it a try,” said Weed. Musicals can be challenging because they involve large casts, according to Weed, so tryouts were opened to the local community.