Queens College dancers to feature their choreography talent

Nine dance students at Queens College are set to be featured in this year's Choreography Showcase.
Photos courtesy of Julenphoto/Captions courtesy of Queens College Dance Department

Queens College dance students are ready for their moment in the spotlight.

The annual choreography showcase by students in the Queens College Department of Dance is set to run from May 6 to 10 this year at the school’s Rathaus Hall. The show, dubbed “Figures of 8,” is the world premiere for the work of nine students in advanced stages of study, and will also feature the work of student costume and lighting designers and stage production personnel.

The students involved have been working on their pieces as part of a yearlong choreography elective for dance majors. Presentations will include a diverse range of dance styles, with contemporary ballet, tap, burlesque and modern dancing all represented in the program.

Themes examined within the pieces vary widely in topic as well. A solo piece reflects on a horrific experience in an African slave dungeon, while a female-centric jazz quintet celebrates sexuality, and a group piece examines the positive and negative sides of friendship.

Zoe Padden, a senior who is currently pursuing a double major in dance and mathematics, said that each choreographer had their own vision and method of approaching the process. Some started with vague ideas that they later refined, and others had a very clear vision from the start.

“It’s a journey,” Katsanos said. “You just kind of have to accept that you need to walk through the journey.”

The students all agreed that putting together a show was a challenge that ultimately proved to be a rewarding learning experience.

“On paper it seems easy but as you go through it, things may change,” senior Malcolm Griffin said. “You might not have the same vision as when you started, or you might have to alter things.”

Although the showcase is an annual event at the school, this year is the first time faculty adviser and showcase director Richard Move is involved. Move has previously been a part of productions by such dance superstars as Mikhail Baryshnikov and the Martha Graham Dance Company, so he has plenty of experience with how personally moving it can be for dancers to be onstage expressing themselves with their art.

“One thing that’s inherent with dance is that there’s some level of autobiography because it’s the body speaking,” Move said.

The show will be held at the Rathaus Hall performance space M11 at 7 p.m. for the Wednesday through Saturday presentations, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 and can be bought at www.kupferbergcenter.com, by phone at 718-793-8080, or in person at the Kupferberg Box Office in the Colden Auditorium.