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Notre Dame Dance Company hosts fall showcase

| Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Notre Dame Dance Company will host its annual fall showcase, featuring 22 dances — including solo performances — and 70 of the 300 Dance Company.

In an email, senior Marne Fairhurst, a member of the Dance Company, said each dance is independent, and there are a mix of group dances, duets, trios and solos.

Fairhurst said the Dance Company hosts one show per semester. Each show is performed at Washington Hall and run by the students, including the choreography and logistics for the show. The Company hires someone to do the lights and sound.

Junior Marisa Lenga, president of the Dance Company, said in an email that this year’s show is looking to further integrate the group’s two dance companies — the gold company and the blue company — as well as highlight tap dancing.

“We are trying to showcase tap with the addition of our tap commissioner position on the executive board,” she said. “We are also trying to blend the gold/blue and tap company more by having pieces that incorporate jazz and tap.”

Tap commissioner Francesca Carfagnini, a sophomore, is choreographing two dances in the showcase.

“You get out of it what you put into it, so that’s why I decided to choreograph,” she said.

One of her dances is a smaller group dance, and one is a larger dance.

“You have to keep that in mind, who’s in the dance,” she added. “The smaller group, there’s auditions for that one. It’s super technical, so that’s the focus of it. The other one is more high energy.”

To choreograph, Carfagnini said she spends some time by herself listening to the song and practicing to see what dance moves work before she teaches the steps to others.

“I go in there, spend about an hour or so by myself, and try different things,” she said. “When you get something that works, you feel that it works.”

Carfagnini said she doesn’t write down the steps to the dances. Instead, she uses muscle memory to remember the dances.

In previous years, she added, anyone in Dance Company could perform in a tap dance, but this year there were auditions for a tap company.

“I really wanted to make tap a bigger part of the company,” she said. “One of my initiatives this year is to make Tap Company a more legitimate aspect of Dance Company. … Just because you can do turns, leaps and kicks, it doesn’t necessarily translate into tap.”

Carfagnini said once a dancer made the tap company, the individual could perform in any tap dance. This year’s show features three tap dances and one tap-jazz mix.

“It gives people who are only on tap more opportunities to be on the show,” Carfagnini, who only performs tap, said. “There’s quite a few people who only do tap, so I feel like it’s better represented now, which is nice.”

Shows take place Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available for $5 at the door.

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About Alexandra Muck

Alexandra Muck is a Notre Dame sophomore majoring in business and economics. Originally from Dallas, she currently lives in Howard Hall.

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