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K-State News
Kansas State University
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'SpringDance '18' offers West African, tap, jazz, modern and more

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


MANHATTAN — New dances will highlight "SpringDance '18," which features Kansas State University students performing original choreography by dance faculty.

"SpringDance '18" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, at McCain Auditorium. It is a production of the university's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Tickets can be purchased at ksu.universitytickets.com, with group discounts available.

West African dance will take the spotlight in "SpringDance '18" with special guest artists Bernard Woma and Evelyn Beyoun. Woma is the founder and director of the Saakumu Dance Troupe, Ghana, West Africa; Beyoun is a dancer with the company. Woma and Beyoun will join the K-State African Ensemble in three traditional and high-energy West African social dances, which will represent different ethnic groups in Ghana.

Tap and jazz pieces also will be presented. "This and That," choreographed by Julie L. Pentz, associate professor and director of the university's dance program, will be performed by the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble and tap dancers from the dance program. This fun, flirty dance to music from the Broadway musical "SWING!" features traditional tap dance style with some rhythm tap dance flavors.

"Time, Tension, Belief, Silence and Strength," also choreograped by Pentz, is a jazz piece that features 12 dancers. This piece was created with inspiration from Pentz's interactions on a recent visit to Kuwait. Pentz said many of the people she met shared their stories from the 1990 invasion by Iraq and Sadaam Hussein, which Pentz said showed their strength in the most difficult time of their lives. Her experience in Kuwait shaped the title of her piece: Time heals, Tension remains, Belief in a prosperous future, Silence of the pain, and Strength that all humans hold to make a difference in the world.

"Here/Waiting" by Kate Digby, assistant professor of dance, will be performed by a modern dance quartet that explores — very abstractly — the idea that the things we are striving toward are already manifest in the spiritual realm. A recurrent folk dance in which the dancers perform unison staccato stepping patterns interrupts more idiosyncratic solos and duets, evoking a sense of community that is simultaneously a flashback and a flash forward, according to Digby.

In response to President Myers call to continue the dialogue of KSUnite after the KSUnite rally in November 2017, Digby invited students in the dance program and across the College of Arts and Sciences to contribute to a collaborative exploration of thoughts and feelings related to the campus climate through embodied creative practice. The resulting work, "I Said What I Said," is a conglomeration of students' poems and choreography, combined with excerpts from letters from the K-State Black Student Union and American Ethnic Studies Student Association and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Jan. 19, 1968, speech at Kansas State University, offered as a reflection of where we've been and how far we have left to go … together.

For more information about "SpringDance '18," contact Neil Dunn at neildunn@k-state.edu.

The following students are members of the cast and crew of "SpringDance '18." Members of the cast are musicians or actors.

Jazlyn Kingsolver, sophomore in psychology, Assaria, dancer; Kelsey Hoines, junior in fine arts, Atchison, dancer; Jaxson Metzler, freshman in apparel and textiles, Concordia, crew; Andrea Klepper, senior in fine arts, Elmwood, dancer; Haley Harrison, senior in mathematics and economics, Emporia, cast.

From Greater Kansas City: Jazmine Johnson, freshman in pre-journalism and communications, Kansas City, dancer; Emilie Christian, junior in biology, crew, and Abbey Sommerauer, senior in English, dancer, both from Leawood; Jacob Long, senior in electrical engineering, cast, Olivia Mangual, sophomore in business administration, dancer, and Ellie Ward, freshman in mechanical engineering, dancer, all from Olathe; Allison Griffin, senior in psychology, dancer, Tiffani Lawrence, senior in English and theatre, dancer, Jordan Showalter, freshman in theatre, crew, and Glenna Vano, senior in psychology and modern languages, dancer, all from Overland Park; and Hannah Yeoman, senior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, Prairie Village, dancer.

Breanne Kruse, senior in biology and secondary education-biological sciences, Hays, dancer; Reba K. Kreider, sophomore in food science and industry, Hiawatha, dancer; Kaitlin Kirby, senior in theatre, Hutchinson, crew; Natalie Longhurst, sophomore in business administration, dancer, and Phoenix Swedlund, sophomore in secondary education, crew, both from Lawrence; Abigail Svoboda, junior in kinesiology, Lincolnville, dancer.

From Manhattan: Matt Cox, senior in marketing, crew; Sydney Harrison, junior in kinesiology, dancer; Claire Huber, sophomore in human ecology, dancer; Emily Nicholson, nondegree undergraduate in open option, dancer; Kowan Russel, master's student in theatre, cast; and Kendra Truitt, senior in social work, dancer.

Taybor Smith, sophomore in apparel and textiles, Marysville, dancer; Hannah Stecklein, junior in mechanical engineering, McPherson, dancer; Allie Deiter, senior in mass communications, Meriden, dancer; Delaney Madden, sophomore in family studies and human services, Osawatomie, dancer; Emma Ayre, sophomore in sociology, Pawnee Rock, dancer; Elizabeth Hayes, senior in art, Pittsburg, dancer; Zoe Abner, freshman in open option, Riley, dancer; Hanna Leiker, freshman in business administration, Salina, dancer; Tressa Dekat, senior in chemical engineering, dancer, and Breana Tiffany, freshman in theatre, dancer, both from Topeka.

From Wichita: Hailey Price, sophomore in nutrition and health, dancer; Isabella Vardaman, sophomore in theatre and secondary education, dancer; and Jazzy Walker, senior in life sciences and pre-physical therapy, dancer.

From out of state:

Tara Doman, junior in industrial engineering, Riverside, California, dancer; Sierra Burnett, senior in anthropology, Colorado Springs, Colorado, dancer; Victoria Whitmore, senior in chemical engineering, Greeley, Colorado, dancer; Alexis Durham, junior in political science, Cleveland, Georgia, crew; Liz Kritikos, junior in theatre, New Lenox, Illinois, dancer; Jenna Henderson, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, Plainfield, Illinois, dancer; Kimberly Coussens, junior in fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology, Zionsville, Indiana, dancer; Paige Humphrey, senior in biology, Worcester, Massachusetts, cast.

From Missouri: Chelsie Yokum, master's student in family studies and human services, Gladstone, dancer; Braxton Fink, sophomore in apparel and textiles, Kansas City, crew; and Emma-Quin Smith, master's student in regional and community planning, Springfield, dancer.

From Oklahoma: Katherine Boulanger, master's student in theatre and modern languages, crew, and Nicole Boulanger, junior in elementary education, dancer, both from Bartlesville; and Emma Hochman, sophomore in political science, Norman, dancer.

From Texas: Kenedi Kelley, sophomore in American ethnic studies, Cedar Park, dancer; Katelyn Gehrt, junior in accounting, Cypress, dancer; Sarah Pitzer, junior in communication sciences and disorders, Haltom City, dancer; and Aurora Adams, sophomore in American ethnic studies, The Woodlands, Texas, cast.

From out of country: Jazmin Royg, freshman in pre-psychology, Asuncion, Paraguay, dancer.


Neil Dunn


K-State Dance

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Assaria, Atchison, Concordia, Elmwood, Emporia, Hays, Hiawatha, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Lawrence, Leawood, Lincolnville, Manhattan, Marysville, McPherson, Meriden, Olathe, Osawatomie, Overland Park, Pawnee Rock, Pittsburg, Prairie Village, Riley, Salina, Topeka and Wichita, Kansas; Riverside, California; Colorado Springs and Greeley, Colorado; Cleveland, Georgia; New Lenox and Plainfield, Illinois; Zionsville, Indiana; Worcester, Massachusetts; Gladstone, Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri; Bartlesville and Norman, Oklahoma; and Cedar Park, Cypress, Haltom City and The Woodlands, Texas.