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Arts / Entertainment

Senior Dance Showcase

December 6, 2011

Senior dance majors will showcase their choreography, performance, and production talents in the capstone event, the Senior Dance Showcase. Free tickets are available through those who have not yet redeemed their Commitment to Campus tickets.

Dance majors Anna Roehr (left), Cecilia McNeel (below, center), and Thomas Phelan (right). 'Fiction, Flashbacks, and Foreshadows'

Colorado State University School of the Arts presents the Senior Dance Showcase: Fictions, Flashbacks and Foreshadows on Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, December 10 with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. and evening performance at 8 p.m.

Performances take place in the state-of-the art University Dance Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St. 

  • $14/adults
  • $10/CSU students and youth under 17

Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) Ticket Office, by phone at (970) 491-2787 or online. Advance purchase is highly recommended and tickets purchased at the door include additional fees.

Two free tickets to select events are available through the Commitment to Campus program to University employees on a first-come, first-served basis.

A world of creativity and imagination

The Senior Dance Showcase is a capstone event where senior dance majors present their choreography, performance and production talents. With over thirty CSU dancers, musicians, designers and technicians contributing, this innovative program also promises an exciting look at up-and-coming performing artists.Thomas Phelan unveils his group piece, 'To the Sound of Crickets.'

“The showcase is an opportunity for students to take everything they have learned over four years of hard work and apply it to a senior level production,” said Jane Slusarski-Harris, direct of CSU’s dance program. “As a graduation requirement, the concert involves everything from choreography, performance, design, marketing and overall direction from start to finish, providing experience applicable to numerous professional situations.”

This year’s showcase – Fictions, Flashbacks and Foreshadows – features the work of Anna Roehr, Thomas Phelan and Cecilia McNeel. Each student choreographed an ensemble piece and a solo work, inviting the audience into the dancer’s multi-faceted world of creativity and imagination, past events, and current dreams.  

Artists Roehr, Phelan, and McNeel

Anna Roehr (pictured in feature photo), a Colo. native dancing for 15 years, will perform Black Ink, Blue Lines. The group piece, featuring ten dancers, was inspired by the term “pick up the pen.” In a literal sense, a writer begins a story by transferring thoughts to a page, bringing to life a world of ideas, dreams and notions.

"The literal words incorporated in the piece represent that which we allow to define us and the choices that come as a result. Those choices shape the direction of our lives,” Rohr notes of her piece.

Roehr began her training with Ballet Nouveau Colorado and went on to train with Boulder Ballet, Ballet Magnificat and the Colorado Ballet. Entering CSU’s Dance program in 2008, her choreography has been selected by the faculty to appear in several concerts. She is a member of CSU’s Tour Dance Company directed by Chung-Fu Chang. Roehr hopes to dance professionally after graduating and eventually return to school to obtain her masters in performing arts.

McNeel, who began dancing at the age of four, will perform her solo piece, 'Searching.'Thomas Phelan will unveil a twist of a classic “hero’s journey” in his group piece, To the Sound of Crickets, a narrative story told through choreography, costumes and characters. A prince falls in love and the couple is stolen away to the underworld where they struggle to escape together, despite attempts to foil their love. 

“They are tempted and distracted by people, business and money, but ultimately love and perseverance prevail,” Phelan says of the piece.

Phelan began his performance training in Fort Collins with extracurricular activities that included diving, gymnastics and cheerleading. Through CSU’s dance program, he honed his technique and passion for the art form. Phelan has recently been contracted by Alaska Dance Theatre as an apprentice for their upcoming 2012 spring season.

Cecilia McNeel will explore ideas about finding one’s place in the world in her solo piece, Searching.

“Finding somewhere you feel comfortable doing what you love, and people you work well with is what everyone strives to find and maintain through different channels—something that I certainly hope to find in my future career,” McNeel says of this intimate soul-searching.

McNeel began dancing at the age of 4 in Flagstaff, Ariz., at what is now the Northern Arizona University Community Music and Dance Academy. Joining CSU’s dance program in 2008, she has sharpened her performance and choreography skills, including the faculty’s selection of her solo Secret Truths to merit additional performances throughout the year. Upon graduation, McNeel hopes to teach dance and eventually go to graduate school for arts management.

Contact: Jennifer Clary
Phone: (970) 491-3603