Senior dancers present CONTINUUM, an inspiring accumulation of capstone projects


Courtesy / GVSU

Allison Rafferty

Seven Grand Valley State University dance majors will be performing their senior capstones in their final recital titled “CONTINUUM.” The virtual recital is set to take place Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17 at 7 p.m. 

CONTINUUM, set to last approximately two hours, will feature 13 performances including solo dances, group numbers and short films, in each of which the dancers were given the ability to express their personal style.

Dance and exercise science major Mary Twietmeyer said the group selected the title of the show to reflect their time spent in the university’s dance program. 

The title of our show is CONTINUUM, which we selected as a group because we felt it represented our progression and growth as dancers and as artists these past few years at Grand Valley,” Twietmeyer said. “We are not the same people as when we started our journey in the dance program, we have each grown immensely as individuals and as a group.”

Twietmeyer said that while she never would have imagined completing her senior capstone during a pandemic or having to convert it into a virtual show, she feels that it shows how resilient the art of dance really is. 

“We have found ways to work around the obstacles that have been presented to us this past year and it makes it even more rewarding in the end,” said Twietmeyer

Dance and communication studies major Emily McKenzie said that since she’s been dreaming of this show since her first day freshman year, the fact that it is being done virtually is hard to accept. But, her fellow performers have helped her see the bright side of things. 

“Luckily, the cast I worked with this semester made it really special,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie’s capstone is a group performance titled “EVERYTHING, NOTHING.”

“My work investigates the ideas of both purposeful existence and meaningless existence of all things,” said McKenzie. 

She will also be performing a solo piece recorded in the corner of her bedroom called “pieceofmynd” that she said is inspired by “the dichotomy of overwhelming thoughts and anxiety that can live in mere silence and stillness.”

For Twietmeyer’s senior project, she choreographed a duet called “Contradictions from Within.” She said the piece explores the internal conflict that comes from an individual experiencing opposing beliefs within their own mind. 

“The movement reflects how these conflicting thoughts surface, bringing about feelings of anxiety and uneasiness within the individual,” said Twietmeyer.

She is also in a solo number called “absence” which captures the nostalgia that comes with reminiscing on what is no longer present in one’s life. 

Twietmeyer said each piece is catered so much to the dancers’ individuality, and she is excited to see it all come together for one complete performance. 

“We all have very different styles that represent who we are as dancers and choreographers and it will be really captivating to see each of our artistic voices show throughout the show,” said Twietmeyer. 

Information on the inspiration behind each piece can be found in the Dance Program’s press release for CONTINUUM.

“We’re ecstatic that we can share our works with audience members near and far, that’s one perk of having our show virtual,” Twietmeyer said. “This way dance can be brought to them and our audience members can relax and enjoy our show from the comfort of their own homes.”

McKenzie said she hopes that audience members will stay inspired and embrace everything about themselves after experiencing the performances CONTINUUM has to offer. 

Those interested can attend the recital free of charge and can get tickets through GVSU’s website. The pre-recorded performances will be available for streaming on the platform AnywhereSeat.