The Hillsdale Tower Dancers have been preparing for their annual spring concert since the start of the fall semester. This weekend, their efforts are finally coming to fruition.
The concert consists of nine pieces and a range of dance styles: classical ballet, modern ballet, and contemporary dance.
In addition to seeing the work of the college’s own dance faculty, audience members will be treated to a piece by guest artist Alyssa Alger of Southeast Missouri State University, as well as four pieces created by student choreographers.
Two of the dances, choreographed by seniors Colleen Prince and Stephen Rupp respectively, were selected to be performed at the American College Dance Association Conference at Wittenberg University in Ohio last month.
With such variety, Holly Hobbs, Hillsdale’s assistant professor of dance and director of Tower Dancers, encourages the audience to “welcome the unexpected.”
“Look for shapes and images that resonate rather than searching for the expected,” she said. “Often concert-goers assume that they’re missing something when they see a dance performance and can’t pick up on a storyline. But not all dances tell a story. We deal with human forms and abstraction. The important thing is to focus on how the dance makes you feel.”
For the six seniors participating in the concert, this year’s performance represents the end of an era.
“It’s bittersweet,” said senior Kathryn DuHadway, a Tower Dancer and student choreographer.
DuHadway said many seniors are unlikely to continue dancing after they graduate.
“It’s a really emotional time because most of us aren’t looking to dance extensively beyond Hillsdale. This is ‘goodbye’ for a lot of us. We’ve had great camaraderie this year,” she said.
Senior Colleen Prince said she hopes students and faculty will take advantage of this performance as a unique opportunity to enjoy an art form not often on display at Hillsdale.
“Other than social dance, Tower Dancers is the only opportunity on campus to experience an array of different dance genres and styles,” she said. “But more importantly, dance is fundamental to every single living person, and I think it’s very important for Hillsdale students to be aware that this art form reveals a lot about human nature, our relationships, and the human condition. Plus, it’s just beautiful.”
Tower Dancers will be performing Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., in the Markel Auditorium. Tickets are not required.