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Dance Arts returns to Saint Mary’s

Meaghan Daly | Monday, April 23, 2012

DanceArts is back at Saint Mary’s this weekend.

The Saint Mary’s College Dance Ensemble Workshop will take the stage of O’Laughlin Auditorium Friday and Saturday for its performance, “a Time to Dance….”

DanceArts is an annual presentation of the Saint Mary’s Program in Dance, Department of Communication Studies, Dance, and Theatre. This year’s performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Artistic director Indi Dieckgrafe-Dreyer, professor of dance at Saint Mary’s, emphasized the creativity and originality of the program’s concepts, ideas, and production elements.

“Consider dance – its beautiful spectrum of forms and styles, allowing us to communicate and enjoy life and art through human movement,” she said.

The performance features choreography by faculty, guest artists and one student choreographer, junior Jean Medin.

This year’s performance will welcome 2009 alumna Kristin Hingstrum to perform “Falling,” choreographed by Lisa Frank. As a gift to the Saint Mary’s Dance Program, Frank has given her work for the permanent repertoire of the Dance Ensemble Workshop.

Hingstrum said this piece tells a story – the dance is about getting up and moving on even when it is difficult, she said.

“When I’m dancing the piece, I lose myself entirely. I connect with the character,” she said. “When I first danced this piece, I imagined a young woman who has bouts of insanity and moments of clarity as she tries to discover who she is what she’s supposed to be doing.”

Hingstrum said she was excited when she was first invited to perform at Saint Mary’s.

“I was surprised but greatly honored to be invited back to perform a piece that I love and connect with so deeply,” she said.

DanceArts offers a variety of types of dances and dancers throughout the concert.

“Saint Mary’s has always done a great job in creating a professional environment for students to experience and participate in,” Hingstrum said.

Hingstrum currently works as an educational advisor in Moline, Ill., and teaches dance to young girls.

“[It] keeps me busy, but I love seeing them develop a love for dance as I did,” she said. “I stay involved with the performing arts community at home.”  

Dieckgrafe-Dreyer said she is personally excited to be returning to the stage after over 15 years.

“This concert is dedicated to the art of dance, its history, contribution to society and its universal importance,” Dieckgrafe-Dreyer said.

The program of 11 dances includes five premieres, and ranges in genres from modern, contemporary ballet, and national character dances. The show will run for approximately 90 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission.

Tickets may be purchased online, by visiting the Moreau Center box office Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by calling 574-284-4626.