WMU News

Five dance seniors perform in graduation concert

March 14, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Five senior Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates in the WMU Department of Dance will present their "Graduating Presentation Concert," titled "Cinq sur Cinq: Loud and Clear," March 31 and April 1. The concert is free and open to the public.

Performances will begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, and at 2 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, in Dance Studio B on the third floor of the Dalton Center.

The Graduating Presentation Concert is the capstone project in the B.F.A. program in dance. This year's B.F.A. candidates are Jessica Graves, Erin Malley, Marlo Kay Stafford, Nelleke Stravers, and Susie Thiel.

Jessica Graves of Romulus, Mich., has created an intense fusion of ballet, modern, and jazz dance forms to the music of King Crimson and Wojciech Kilar. Her dance explores the different facets of individual personalities and the choices that are made throughout life.

Erin Malley of Kalamazoo will present a modern septet set to three art songs by Gabriel Faure. Her piece, "Cherish," is centered around the timeless theme of unrequited love. She will be featuring Jeremy Dehring and Kristen Legg as soloists.

Marlo Kay Stafford of Fruitport, Mich., will be showing a 15-dancer work which combines the idioms of modern and jazz dance. Her piece rides the range of human emotion, from solitary isolation to insanity.

Nelleke Stravers of Augusta, Mich., has created a work which doubles as her culminating thesis project for the Lee Honors College. Within her cast of 12, she includes four area children and a soloist, Jeanna Sneed, who dances in Houston. Stravers will be using Paul Winter's Missa Gaia (or Earth Mass) to accompany her dance, which is a blend of modern and liturgical worship dance. Her focus is on the gospel belief of childlike faith necessary to enter God's kingdom.

Susie Thiel of Howell, Mich., has created a work based on the theme of differing emotions and states of temperament. Using four soloists among other dancers in her cast, she creates contrast, not only to be found in the dance, but also in the music, which ranges from Bela Bartok to Miles Davis.

All five choreographers will be featured in the work "Clear as Clouds" by WMU dance alumnus Trent P. McEntire. He currently dances with Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, a Rochester Hills, Mich., professional dance company. "Clear as Clouds," an energetic and lighthearted work, was McEntire's Graduating Presentation Concert in 1998.

Media contact: Jane Baas, 616 387-5833, jane.baas@wmich.edu

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