Spring Dance 2023 | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Hannah Eccleston.

East Carolina University's Spring Dance Concert 2023 features a collaboration of many genres of dance including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom and more. (ECU photos by Rhett Butler)

    East Carolina University's Spring Dance Concert 2023 open tonight, showcasing the incredibly talented students, faculty and guests who work hard to bring amazing performances together for the School of Theatre and Dance.

    The production is a collaboration of many genres of dance including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, ballroom and more.

    "We love to showcase a variety of dances every single semester. There is no common theme of spring dance," student choreographer Jackie Dodds said. "It is just to showcase all of these different styles and for the choreographers to tell their stories with each individual work."

    Dodds, a dance performance and choreography major, was selected to be a student choreographer for the production. As a student choreographer, she has perfected a 10-minute dance that will be performed alongside the works of faculty and professors.

    "This experience has given me a lot of responsibility in many ways I have not yet had at ECU in the dance program," Dodds said. "I choreographed a piece for my senior thesis last semester that is similar in length and was presented formally, but spring dance has put me working side by side with my professors, which is something I am privileged to experience."

    She has been a theatre and dance student since spring 2020 and has performed in nine mainstage productions. "I have always loved performing and I discovered my passion for choreographing while in this program, so to have my last mainstage where I get the opportunity to do both has been such a huge honor," she said.

    John Dixon is the spring dance concert coordinator. He started with the School of Theatre and Dance in 2009 and has been involved in 25 productions in McGinnis and Wright auditoriums.

    "It's my job to help coordinate all of the choreographers' artistic visions with the work of the designers and overall production team," Dixon said. "I'm also lucky enough to be one of the choreographers.

    "It takes a huge amount of time, energy, dedication and focus for all of the dancers, choreographers, designers and crew members to bring the dance concert to life," he said. "We're lucky because as demanding as all of that can be, we have the gift of doing and sharing what we love, and I think audiences will feel that come through in every aspect of the work they see onstage."

    "Each dance has its own underlying message that is beautifully hidden for the audience to explore and make their own to take home with them at the end of the night," Dodds said. "The show overall is unique due to its diversity. It is not just for one audience member."

    Spring Dance 2023 also features work from guest choreographers Roland Culler and Donna Michelle Vaughn.

    Culler has worked with Les Ballet Grandiva, touring extensively in Japan, as well as the Pennsylvania Ballet, Boulder Ballet, David Taylor Dance Theatre and The Longmont Dance Theatre, touring and dancing in many classical and neoclassical roles. He is an adjunct professor of ballet at Pace University.

    Vaughn has toured nationally and internationally with companies Hubbard Street 2 and DanceWorks Chicago under the direction of Julie Nagakawa Bottcher. She is a member of the Tony Award-winning cast of Disney's "The Lion King" on Broadway and was in the original Las Vegas cast. She teaches at The Caedmon School on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

    Spring Dance 2023 will be performed in McGinnis Theatre tonight through Sunday. To see show times and to purchase tickets, visit the School of Theatre and Dance website.
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