Hannah Scott has had a busy semester.

Between juggling her classes, the sophomore dance major from Bowling Green has had to learn three dances for the upcoming Evening of Dance.

“I’m doing dances by two guest artists and one of the regular professors. It’s been a busy semester, but it’s been great,” she said. “It pushed me. This semester really challenged me to be organized, on top of things and professional. I learned a lot more outside my style.”

Evening of Dance will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday and at 3 p.m. Sunday in Russell H. Miller Theatre at Western Kentucky University’s Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at the door or online at wku.showare.com.

Department of Theatre and Dance visiting lecturer Meghen McKinley said the event will be “interesting and exciting.”

“The faculty choreography ranges from ballet variations to contemporary modern work that will have video projection,” she said. “Our show ranges from classical ballet, tap, jazz all the way to contemporary and modern contemporary ballet. There’s something for everybody.”

Scott agreed.

“If you’re interested in just one thing, chances are you’re going to get it,” she said.

Jon Lehrer of Lehrer Dance in Buffalo, N.Y., and Andrea Shelley, co-director of IMee dance company in Riverside, Calif., are guest choreographers.

“Jon Lehrer has a physical dance piece that he had set for his company and he set it for WKU,” she said. “Andrea Shelley has a contemporary ballet piece.”

Scott is dancing in Lehrer’s “Chukchi,” Shelley’s “Windows of Appearances” and WKU associate professor Amanda Clark’s “Primal.”

“ ‘Primal’ is a jazz piece. It’s very fast and very exciting,” she said. “It’s high energy through the whole piece. By the end we’re panting. The audience will like it.”

“Windows of Appearances” is “very soft but focuses more on a message,” while “Chukchi” is based on an indigenous tribe in Russia, Scott said.

“It’s really cool to learn. It’s so different than anything I’ve seen before. It’s almost like the Native American dances you see,” she said. “He described it almost like Eskimos. Learning the history of that was so neat. It’s almost like you’re dancing with your family.”

The dance students start learning pieces by WKU faculty members at the beginning of the semester. Learning the guest choreographer pieces is different, McKinley said.

“The guest artists will come in and spend three to four days here and set the work and then leave. We continue to rehearse them,” she said. “The dancers work hard. They were learning a lot of new material in a short amount of time. They’re rehearsing three to four pieces that they’re each in throughout the week.

“There are two hours a rehearsal where you go over it and over it and clean it and answer questions and work so they can get the stamina to get through those pieces,” she said.

When things come together, though, it’s “exciting,” McKinley said.

“It goes from just being movement and material to them diving in and being what the material is really about. Our first time in the space was blocking on Sunday. They have about a week in the theater,” she said. “With the lighting and costumes, it all comes together. Sometimes a lot of adjustments have to be made. There are different distances they have to run in the space.”

McKinley called Evening of Dance “a great concert.”

“It shows the diversity and range of our program,” she said. “We have well-rounded dancers with the emotions the pieces will be about.”

— Follow features reporter Alyssa Harvey on Twitter @bgdnfeatures or visit bgdailynews.com.


Alyssa Harvey writes features stories for the Bowling Green Daily News. You can reach her at 270-783-3257 or on Twitter at twitter.com/bgdnfeatures.

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