Ohio State’s dance department will host their spring concert this weekend. Credit: Courtesy of Laura DeAngelis

With the semester coming to an end, Ohio State dance students are celebrating their year’s work in the department’s Spring Concert.

Thursday through Saturday, dance students will come together to perform 11 student-choreographed pieces in Barnett Theater in Sullivant Hall. The performances also will showcase talents such as light and sound production as the students run all aspects of the show.

Students are selected for the show after auditioning and are chosen by a panel of faculty in the department. Emily Kilroy, a third-year in dance and arts management, said the feeling of having her piece, “buzzzzzzzzzzzz off,” featured in the production is an affirmation of her hard work.

“It’s really reassuring to me that the work I’m doing is valid and that the people around me want to see me succeed,” Kilroy said.

She said that creating work is a part of dance composition and choreography, and being selected for the concert lets her know that she’s doing the right thing.

With this dance, Kilroy said she used more of a “go with the flow” approach.

“The dance was made arbitrarily. I was interested in seeing the humor that comes about when you make things randomly,” Kilroy said.

The sole choreographer, Kilroy made her performance into a duet with fellow dance major Sutton Coffey, which made the piece a collaborative effort.

“Sutton is a great dancer and has a great personality on stage, so I wanted his contribution to mean as much to the piece as mine,” Kilroy said.

Improvisation was a key feature Kilroy said she used to bring lightheartedness to the audience.

“I think there’s something magical about the spontaneity that happens on stage,” she said. “I’m really excited to see what’s going to happen on stage with Sutton and I in those moments of improvisation.”

Other students took a different approach with their performances. Fenella Kennedy, a fifth-year doctoral candidate in dance, and Bita Bell, a third-year master’s student in dance, co-choreographed their piece, “See/Saw,” to reflect the time they’ve endured at Ohio State.

“We both have felt somewhat alienated during our time here in some way or another,” Bell said.

However, instead of feeling bad about their adversities, Bell said they decided to turn their experiences into something meaningful.

Kennedy said being criticized for their identities made the duo want to create a dance that lifts them up instead.

“We’re both immigrants; we’re both roommates; we’re both queer,” Kennedy said. “So we decided we wanted to make a piece to celebrate us.”

Improvisation was also a key element that brought Kennedy and Bell’s piece together.

“We started out improvising together, and we put on lots of tracks of different music, and we danced around the studio, and we go, ‘Oh, this feels important,’ and, ‘Oh, this is a theme in our practice that we really want to bring forward,’” Kennedy said.

While the dance has a deep meaning to them, Kennedy and Bell said they both hope to stun the audience with a shocking feature.

“There’s an element of surprise,” Bell said. “It’s less of a performance and more of a doing.”

One thing the pair said they hope for their performance is audience participation.

“There’s a moment when we start clapping, and we want the audience to clap with us, and I’m looking forward to that on the last night, because when people clap along, then the audience gets to come into our community too and gets to celebrate with us,” Kennedy said.

To purchase tickets for the concert, visit the Ohio State Theatre Ticket Office or go online to Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the event visit dance.osu.edu/events/spring-concert-2019.