April 24, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer
The Maryville College Dance Ensemble will present its annual Spring Showcase on Fri., April 27 at 7 p.m. in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center for the Arts.
The title of the showcase is “Chasing Fire” and will include a diverse representation of student choreography, as well as choreography by Jen Evans, an assistant to the Scotties Dance Team.
“The styles will be as diverse as the dancers in the company ranging from contemporary to jazz with some styles in between,” said Nikki Wilks, co-captain of the Dance Ensemble. “Like always, we are excited to be having numerous guest performers both from the campus community and the community at large as we bring back a church dance group for the third time called Sparks Fly, under the direction of MC senior Chelsey Cole.”
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $7 (cash only) at the door, and Maryville College students and children under 12 will be admitted for free. The Dance Ensemble is also partnering with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance's “MC Hands Helping Haiti” project. Before the show and during intermission, students will host an art auction featuring Haitian art and art from local artists including MC students and faculty.
Wilks said the title “Chasing Fire” was inspired by the recent release of the film The Hunger Games.
“I believe that for the seniors in the company we feel like we are chasing fire as we approach graduation,” Wilks said. “We can feel the heat and pressure of the pending graduation and the need to have a plan, but we don't want to catch a flame by ignoring the signs of fire. Also, graduation seems inevitable, much like trying to contain a fire is impossible.”
The showcase marks the sixth anniversary of the ensemble, which was started in the spring of 2007 by two MC alumnae, Katie Martin Shankles and Michelle Taylor.
The purpose of the student-run organization is to “bring a novel aspect of the performing arts to campus in hopes that it will enhance community involvement and general appreciation for the art of dance,” according to the Maryville College website.
This year’s ensemble includes 10 members with a large number of freshmen in the group, including freshman male Justin Spigelmoyer, whose specialty is musical theatre/Broadway-style dance.
“I believe that people will enjoy the show because we bring in such a diverse group of people to perform in the show,” Wilks said. “Even if dance may not be your thing, our musical selections are always fun and really highlight the individual choreographers' personalities and experiences from the semester.”
Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state‘s third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for its academic rigor and its focus on the liberal arts, Maryville is where students come to stretch their minds, stretch themselves and learn how to make a difference in the world. Total enrollment for the fall 2012 semester was 1,093.