Dancing on through


Story by Michelle Enger, Copy Editor

For those without a dance bone in their body and those that love the art of dance, there is an opportunity to be part of a production presented by the dance minor program at UW-Eau Claire.

While the first performance of the contemporary dance event took place Wednesday, there’s still a chance to catch the second performance at 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 beginning outside the front of Haas Fine Arts Center. The dance, called “The Bridge,” will be performed by seven students in the dance minor program.

“For an audience, it brings dance out of the box and out of the typical traditional frame,” said Julie Fox, assistant professor of dance at Eau Claire.

Fox choreographed the piece as a site-specific dance or a dance chosen in response to a specific site. She said the dance is a 45-minute piece that will take the audience to different parts of campus and it will end on the campus walking bridge over the
Chippewa River.

“The audience is very much a part of the dance because they are -— in this particular work­­ — traveling around, and just by the audience moving around, they become a part of the action too,” Fox said.

Senior Jolene Mertens worked on the production of “The Bridge” as a media intern, rehearsal assistant and performer. She said the performance is different from most dance people usually see.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind thing; you are not going to see a performance like this anywhere else,” Mertens said.

“It’s unique to our campus, unique to this group of dancers and I think the university needs to be more exposed to the dance on campus.”

Fox said an audition was held at the beginning of the semester for students to try out for the dance project.  The group has been practicing for nine weeks and has already had a few spectators during their rehearsals.

“I’m just dancing,” said Erica Hilbert, sophomore performer in “The Bridge,” when a passer-by asked her whether or not she needed help while practicing for an upcoming performance on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

Fox said people have walked past the performers during rehearsals with expressions of confusion, interest and some looking uncomfortable. Fox said she likes creating site-specific dances.

“I really enjoy how it affects the movements that I make up, that I create because you are dealing with a different surface or texture in the air,” Fox said.

Hilbert said there will be duets and solos in different locations on campus throughout the performance. She said it is a different experience other than just a studio dance.

The audience will walk to different areas on campus with the final moments of the dance being on the campus bridge.

The fall Opera Workshop course, under the direction of Mitra Sadeghpour and Mark Mowry, will also perform with live percussion and transcendent sounds by Terrence Karn.