Senior dance students showcase talents

Boardwalk Apartments will host The University of Southern Mississippi Dance Department’s “Dance for Film” presentation Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 as part of several site-specific dances that have been presented by the department.

The presentation will raise money for the university’s primary performing venue, the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, which was damaged by the tornado in February. “Dance for Film” will also give three dance students the opportunity to showcase pieces they have been working on this semester.

The three films are by seniors Morgan Teel, a dance performance/choreography major; Monique Brogan, a dance licensure major; and Ray Elmore, a dance performance/choreography major. Each piece is seven to 10 minutes long and uses dance and music to present the themes of grieving, loss, déjà vu and dreams.

“This dance is very meaningful to me because it is dedicated to my grandmother who passed away in May,” Teel said. “It is a total 360 of my junior dance which was giddy, comedic and filled with childlike wonder. ‘Dalet’ shows a deeper more vulnerable side of myself as the choreographer but also [of] my dancers. It is grief and vulnerability paired with hope.”

“‘Dance for Film’ pieces are about taking the best parts of dance and combining them with the best parts of filmmaking,” said Elizabeth Lentz, a Department of Dance instructor. “Filmmaking allows the director/editor to frame what the audience is seeing, how they are seeing it and sometimes to do the impossible: think extreme slow-mo, playing something in reverse, defying gravity, etcetera.”

Student filmmakers have done most of the choreography, filming, music selection and editing on their own, but have also enlisted help from their technical advisor Kristen Allen, a Southern Miss alumna.
The students also participated in a weekend workshop with guest artist Carrie Morris from Grand Valley University in Allendale, Mich.

“We had a ‘Dance For Film’ crash course the first weekend of school where we learned how to film and edit,” Teel said. “Once you get your hands on the equipment, learning how to work it, it really wasn’t scary at all.”
The presentations will be shown both nights at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the Media Room at the Boardwalk Apartment complex. Admission is $5, payable by check or cash, and seating is limited.