With spring in full swing, student choreographers and dancers make final preparations for the annual student choreography concert. 

The concert will be on April 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Magnuson Theater. Tickets are available online for purchasing as well as in person through the box office.

This year’s concert will feature 11 student choreographers as well as over 60 performers. As dance major or minors, students are required to take a student choreography class, which is responsible for putting on the concert each year. 

Choreographers also collaborate with students in the introduction to lighting and design courses to coordinate costumes and lighting for the production. 

In addition to leading their own dance companies, choreographers also prepare their own pieces and participate in their peers’ companies.

Sophomore Suzanna Bilderback, one of the 11 student choreographers this year, shared some insight into the process of preparing for the concert.

Since the beginning of the spring semester, students in the choreography class have been “learning key elements of how to lead a company, how to create a piece, and make our artistic visions come to life in movement,” said Bilderback.

After placement auditions were held at the beginning of the semester, dancers of all skill levels and styles were placed in one or more companies based on their schedules. Rehearsals began soon after and have consistently been once a week leading up to the concert. 

Outside of rehearsals, choreographers meet twice a week to discuss structuring and preparing their companies for the performance.

The concert provides students, dance major or otherwise, with the opportunity to perform and showcase their works.

Junior Audrey Parks, a student choreographer, expressed her passion for the student-produced concert saying it is her favorite show to be a part of at GU.

“It’s always amazing to put together a piece in a rush but also create connections with new people and be pushed outside of your comfort zone with dance,” said Parks.

This is Parks’ third year participating in the student choreography concert and her first time having one of her pieces featured in the show. In fact, for many of the students, this show will be their choreographic debut. 

“This is a huge moment for many of us and is one of the fundamental moments for our educational careers as it puts our work into action,” said Bilderback.

What truly sets this show apart though is the communal atmosphere and bond created by students in companies and choreographers.

Parks and Bilderback admire the dynamic relationship between the choreographers and dancers. Parks has enjoyed both teaching and learning from the students in her company and Bilderback has incorporated movements her dancers create into her pieces.

“Seeing my vision come to life has been an incredible and unreal experience,” said Bilderback.

Both Parks and Bilderback highly encourage people to attend the performance. Bilderback says it’s a great way to “experience incredible art by local and growing artists from right here in the Gonzaga community.”

“It is an opportunity that many students look forward to each year, and this show is really filled with people who are excited to be a part of the show,” said Parks.

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