GV dance seniors develop capstone performance


GVL / Meghan Tripp

Omari Seaberry, Staff Writer

Grand Valley State University’s Dance Program is set to host their senior concert performance entitled “Marbled Moments.” This performance will be put on by the fall 2022 capstone seniors and feature dance pieces they choreographed as their senior projects.  

The performance consists of five different group pieces, a senior group finale and solos choreographed by each of the five seniors. All elements of the performance are run by the seniors in order to present what the group has learned throughout their time at GVSU.   

This semester’s seniors are Samantha Tort, Megan Vernier, Claire Berndt, Emma Johnson and Grace Kitching. The group held auditions in September that were open to anyone in the dance program to cast their pieces. Since then, the seniors have worked to prepare for the performance in various ways such as weekly rehearsals and other production elements.  

“We’ve hired several people to help professionally with the process of our concert,” Kitching said. “We’ve spent time creating a poster, a program, a press release, professional contracts and social media content.”

Audiences will see eleven different pieces that center around different topics and ideas. Kitching said viewers should be able to sense connections between themselves and the concepts being presented. 

“The concert as a whole is comforting, inspiring and captivating,” Kitching said. “We are striving for the audience to connect with at least one aspect or concept to take and hold in their memory when they leave the building.”

The seniors each held two-hour rehearsals every week for their group pieces where they worked and collaborated with their dancers. Each choreographer’s process was different. For instance, Kitching said she took inspiration for her dance piece from other art forms such as music, poems and artwork.   

All works in the concert display emotions and ideas that hope to connect with the audience through mutual human experiences.

“There is also a variety of styles and genres within our concert; we have some modern and contemporary pieces about grief, loneliness and guilt,” Kitching said. “We also have pieces working with exciting props, inviting imagination and some humor.” 

All five of the seniors also worked on a solo on their own time, which similarly has its own process and comes together over time. Each choreographer chose music, costuming and lighting they felt encapsulated their vision.

The capstone class is taught by Carrie Brueck Morris, professor of dance and curriculum coordinator for the dance program. She worked to guide the group within their process throughout the semester. Kitching said she was grateful that she and the rest of the seniors received Morris’ help. 

“Morris has been our guide through this semester and we would be lost without her,” Kitching said.

Kitching said she’s thrilled to watch all the pieces and see how they’ve come together. 

“I am so proud of everyone involved; this feels surreal to have put on our own show,” Kitching said. “I can’t wait for everyone to experience the dances in all their greatness, and hopefully leave feeling moved or inspired in some way.”

Performances will take place Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. in Haas Center for Performing Arts Dance Studio Theatre 1600. More information can be found on the GVSU Dance Program website or on the senior dancers’ Instagram page, @gvddseniors.