IU Contemporary Dance Theatre’s New Moves Puts Student Choreographers in the Spotlight

April 13, 2017

Bloomington, Ind – Each spring, Indiana University Contemporary Dance students present their original creations in a festival of student work. Originally titled Hammer & Nail and held in the Buskirk Chumley Theater in downtown Bloominginton, the festival was renamed New Moves last year and brought home to the IU campus.

Featuring 13 short dances by 13 choreographers (12 students and one guest), New Moves also provides an opportunity for dozens of undergraduate dancers to collaborate with their peers. Students began this rigorous process in the fall, meeting with faculty mentors, fleshing out their concepts, holding auditions, rehearsing, and improving upon their original vision each step of the way.

The process of creating original work is an instrumental part of the training for students in the Contemporary Dance program. “Choreographic opportunities in college are so beneficial for preparing me for my future career in dance,” says Stephanie Gunter, whose piece “The Joy” will open the performance.

“To see your own work up on stage with lights and costumes is unreal. It’s really satisfying to see something you care so much about performed in a professional setting. I think as a student, that is really motivating to keep choreographing in the future,” adds Sydney Sizemore, who will present a piece called “Hedonistic Lullaby”.

Of the twelve student choreographers, eleven previously choreographed pieces for New Moves is the 2016 festival. Returning choreographer Kelly MacMillan says “Choreography really lets one apply all of the material we learn in our dance classes, while also showcasing our own individual styles.” Her piece “Sincerely”, set to music from Andra Day from The Hamilton Mixtape, will close the first half of the evening. “It will be fierce!” MacMillan promises.

Also featured is a piece by guest artist Jaclyn Walsh entitled “Let’s Go”. Walsh, named as one of “25 to Watch” in 2015 by Dance Magazine, graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has had choreography performed at the 92nd St. Y Friday’s at Noon Series, the American Dance Guild Festival, Perceptions Contemporary Dance Festival, the Young Choreographer’s Dance Festival, New York University’s Past/Forward, SummerStage Main Stage in Central Park and Dancers Responding to AIDS’s Dancin’ Downtown at The Joyce Theater in New York City, where she received The Choreography Award in 2012 and 2013.

The full roster of student choreographers featured in New Moves includes  Stephanie Gunter, Lauren Snyder, Bailey Praeger, Tori Prestel, Susie Wopat, Maggie Black, Kelly MacMillan, India Maynor, Hannah Briner, Claudia Hanna, Sydney Sizemore, and Ashleigh Brower, as well as guest choreographer Jaclyn Walsh.

The New Moves festival is both an impactful training experience for student choreographers and an opportunity for audiences to see an exciting showcase of emerging voices in dance.

WHAT: New Moves, presented by IU Contemporary Dance Theatre

WHEN: Apr. 27 – Apr. 28, 2017

WHERE: Wells-Metz Theatre, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

TICKETS: Admission is $10 for all ages. 812.855.1103 or theatre.indiana.edu. For group discounts contact Abby Miller (millabby@indiana.edu).

For more information or interview requests, please contact Amy Osajima at aosajima@indiana.edu.