Dancing Around the Issues

2011’s Danceworks show interprets everyday worries

Alissa Peterson, photos by Andrea Paulseth

The shadow of a former Danceworks performance’s self.
The shadow of a former Danceworks performance’s self.

“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak” is the theme of UWEC’s popular and celebrated annual production of DanceWorks, an event that every spring involves students from nearly every department come together to perform routines celebrating ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and ethnic dances. The production this year includes pieces inspired by everyday worries – issues like war, class status, and gossip. Dr. Toni Poll-Sorenson, professor of dance, held auditions at the beginning of fall with help from Tu Dance from Minneapolis. The choreographers are chosen for the production based on who meets the theme of the show the best, then choreographers select dancers and use the fall semester to rehearse and smooth any rough edges. In December the choreographers held an informal presentation for Poll-Sorenson in order to gain advice and see what they need to fine tune during the spring to be ready for this time-intensive show. In October Tu Dance performed for the Artists Series, and in turn contributed a tribal song for the show titled The Opening, which will conveniently be used for the show’s opener. Eclectic Edge Ensemble, a jazz dance studio out of the Twin Cities, sent Karis Sloss to UWEC as an artist-in-residence this January. While on campus, she taught a couple of classes to dance students. Her piece for DanceWorks is very playful, like skat singing for jazz vocalists, except – you know – with dancing. Poll-Sorenson also has a playful ballet sequence with ribbons that turns into a more up-tempo techno hip-hop beat. –

DanceWorks 2011 • March 31-April 2, 2011 • Kjer Theatre, Park Ave., UWEC campus • 7:30pm • $12 adults, $10 seniors/staff, $8 youth, $4.50 students • 836-3727