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ISSUE 119 VOL 10 PUBLISHED 12/2/2005

Senior 'Seeds' about to sprout

By Tim Rehborg
Contributing Writer

Friday, December 2, 2005

A sense of community, uniting to present a whole, choosing between two sides of one’s personality, finding support systems in another person: These are all ideas behind the movement designed by or for three St. Olaf senior dance majors for their upcoming performance, “Twisted Seeds,” to be performed Dec. 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Kelsey Theatre.

“Twisted Seeds” is a title which represents “how each of our dances’ themes are a twist of relationships and dance forms,” said choreographer Alex DeLosSantos ‘06.

The choreographers’ habit of collaboration led to quick agreement on the show’s title.

“We thought it was perfect because all of our ideas begin as seeds and grow into something we will be putting on stage,” Marit Sletten ‘06 said.

“Seeds” is also an acronym for the choreographers’ areas of study. DeLosSantos is an English and dance major, Sletten is majoring in economics and dance and Melissa Riedesel ‘06 majors in dance with a concentration in statistics.

Both Sletten and DeLosSantos have choreographed pieces for the performance, while Riedesel is performing two works choreographed for her by professional choreographers with ties to the college.

Sletten choreographed a piece called “Just Spin It” for 10 dancers. The music will be mixed on stage by Sletten’s brother, who works as a DJ. The work centers around an “urban feel as well as a sense of community,” Sletten said. The dancers, clad in informal rehearsal clothing, will eventually discard layers until all present a unified, urban look.

“We are incorporating some new effects in lighting, using some of my brother’s DJ lighting on stage as well as the usual stage lighting,” Sletten said.

She looks forward to the performance, after rigorous preparations during the fall.

“We’ve been rehearsing twice a week for most of the semester,” Sletten said.

“Abandon” is a piece DeLosSantos choreographed for eight dancers. It is designed around the idea of support systems we find in other people, represented through the dancers’ interaction and separations.

“I began coming up with material by trying to focus my ideas on one feeling I wanted to portray to the audience,” DeLosSantos said of the creative process. “Once I have a focus, I get in the studio and move. Moving creates all kinds of exciting and new ways of looking at the emotion I am focusing on.”

DeLosSantos’ dancers will be clad minimally in red, allowing the contours of their bodies to evoke experiences of separation and support.

Riedesel will perform two solo works. The first, choreographed by Seattle choreographer and director of Lingo dancetheatre KT Neihoff, was actually part of the showing of “Relatively Real” on campus earlier this fall.

“KT was initially hesitant because the solo was built on her and her reality, and not mine but as it turns out, it transferred nicely to myself and my own reality,” Riedesel said.

She will wear her favorite everyday dance outfit while dancing in a rehearsal environment.

“Mainly, it's about presenting yourself as you are and realizing what is real,” she said.

Riedesel’s second piece was choreographed by Minneapolis dancer Carrie Lande, one of Riedesel’s former teachers. Lande created the choreography “based on a piece of piano music she came across,” Riedsel said.

In the dance, Riedesel will explore the inner individual.

“It's about two sides and choosing between those two sides,” she said.

Riedesel will also perform a duet, “Ashen,” with Jenny Nuelk ‘06, choreographed by Artist-in-Residence Anthony Roberts. The piece is “an intimate work, using the unique skill, facility and intuition of a smaller group of dancers,” Roberts said.

It is structured around the idea of betrayal and infidelity, using text which serves to “both elucidate and muddy the picture,” Roberts said.

A new addition to the program this year is a video showing. The video will cover the choreographers’ process of creation and rehearsals.

It also gives the choreographers a chance to personally interpret their own artists’ statements.

“Each senior artist has interpreted this in her own way and that will likely show in the differences in each of our video segments,” DeLosSantos said.

The performers look forward to the debut of “Twisted Seeds.”

“It will be an opportunity for anyone to come and learn about dance or to experience movement as a seasoned viewer,” Sletten said.

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