Visions concert allows for a variety of art, genres

“It offers a wide range of perspectives on the world we live in, all through a lens of dance,” professor of dance Joanna McNamara said of Visions, Eastern Michigan University Department of Music and Dance’s 62nd Annual Faculty and Guest Artist Concert.

McNamara said that EMU dance majors and minors are eligible to audition in September for the concert, and then rehearse during the entire fall semester for the performance. Visions will be performed Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m., in Quirk Theatre.

Faculty, guest artists and students have choreographed pieces for Visions. The student choreographers will also be presenting their dances this March at the American College Dance
Festival in Athens, Ohio, according to McNamara.

EMU dance majors Chloe Gray and Lisa Renee Wissing have choreographed pieces for the concert. Gray is presenting “Uterus-Hysteria,” which addresses the topic of female hysteria, and Wissing is presenting a dance piece titled “Shifts.”

McNamara says multiple guest artists will be presenting pieces from several genres of dance, some of which include contemporary and classical ballet, hip-hop and modern.

The genres being presented are diverse, but McNamara says that all of the pieces are joined by the commonality of dance and that pressing issues, ideas and feelings can be expressed through dance – which she says is a highly vital and relevant form of kinesthetic language.

Faculty member Phil Simmons is presenting a musical theatre piece titled “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” which is inspired by “The Little Mermaid.”

Simmons says “Poor Unfortunate Souls” is a character piece that displays a non-threatening evil and a joyous celebration of evil deeds by the villains in the piece.

Simmons said he felt this piece would serve a place in Visions because the concert allows for a multitude of genres and styles to be performed.

“In all of our concerts, the spectrum of styles and genres is as wide as the Grand Canyon,” he said.

One of the modern dance pieces that will be presented is faculty member and guest artist Laura Zimmerman’s piece titled “knot.”

Zimmerman said she was working for the image of the teasing apart of knots for this piece. The dance has three sections and the audience will see the individual parts getting untangled throughout the performance.

Zimmerman also said she chose the music first and then made the choreography to match it, a process she does not normally follow when choreographing. The songs she liked all turned out to be love songs, so she kept with that theme for the rest of the music selection.

“There are relationships happening within the movement as well,” she said.

Zimmerman says the concert is very eclectic because each dance artist and faculty member contributes his or her individuality.

“You’re gonna see a whole bunch of everything,” she said.

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