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Plucked: from human experience

UNK Dance presents ‘Plucked’ dance concert


UNK dancers took the stage in the Miriam-Drake theater last week to present “Plucked,” this year’s spring dance concert. Featuring 14 pieces choreographed by faculty, students, and guest artist Kathy Diehl, Plucked of artistic conversations and styles.

Amid flying feathers and falling lemons, student dancers told their stories- some with words, and other with movement alone. 

“Everybody has a different story,” said student choreographer Hunter Scow. “If I want a specific story told, I have to work with the dancer and see what the body wants to say.”

Scow is among the 10 seniors graduating with dance minors this semester. In addition to choreographing work for other students, he provided voiceover work on Noelle Bohaty’s new piece, “How to Make Lemonade,” and danced in four pieces, including one titled “Rest Stop” which he co-choreographed with his fellow dancer and long time friend Paige Corr.

“I met Paige in kindergarten,” Scow said. “And we’ve just been together since then. I started dancing with her my freshman year of college. Rest Stop is a collaboration project between me and Paige. This piece lies in a lot of our own struggles with mental health. The dynamic we really were interested in playing with was starting off being able to laugh and almost coming off as a joke of some sort, and then taking a nose dive into ‘this is a serious piece- this is something serious.”

Corr and Scow also worked together on Scow’s other piece of choreography, “Conversations with the Man in the Moon,” where Corr joins returning graduate Trisha Miller in a duet piece which will be featured in Scow’s upcoming undergraduate research project performance on April 4, 2020. This project, titled “Divine: Prelude to Paradise,” explores Dante’s Divine Comedy through movement and is one of two dance research projects being presented this semester.

“Hunter started what he likes to call his passion project- which it really is- in 2018,” said Miller, a Chicago actress and UNK alumnus. “He started it with his piece ‘Divine,’ which was his comp piece when he took composition. He showed it in the student dance workshop and got it adjudicated, and it went through and it got approved for undergraduate research that summer.”

“We have two dance students who were awarded undergraduate research fellowships for choreographic work, Hunter Scow and Mary Storm,” said Dance Program Director Noelle Bohaty. “That should be a really interesting evening.”

“I think Plucked is one of the strongest concerts we’ve produced so far,” Bohaty said. “All the work is very high quality. It’s well rehearsed. The students are dancing really well. There were some interesting challenges since the show in January this year. We chose the title because we realized there was a theme of feathers or birds or flight. I knew I was going to restage ‘The Thing With Feathers’ which I made based on an Emily Dickinson poem. But there’s also this idea that in order to fly you have to take a leap.”

“The next thing for UNK Dance will be us partnering with Kearney Symphony Orchestra for their February concert. We’re also hoping to tour a little bit- not the whole spring dance concert, but a few of the pieces to some of the communities around the area and maybe some highschools — possibly even as far as Lincoln or Omaha. Recruitment will definitely be a piece of it, and to some degree just visibility. I think there’s a lot of communities that don’t know UNK has a dance program.”

“The Thing With Feathers,” which closes the concert, will be touring piece this spring, and “Lark Ascending” will go to the American College Dance Association at the University of Iowa in mid-March. These outreach pieces will serve as connectors between UNK Dance and the rest of the dance world, as well as connectors to a broader audience.

“I think it will be great for the department to show rural areas an art form that they might otherwise not get to see,” Miller said. “Modern dance is such an urban thing, and not many people get to see it, so for them to see it will be really cool. I always like to think of art in rural areas. They may not know that they need it, but when they see it they realize they feel so fulfilled. It creates culture, and to bring that kind of culture and open peoples minds is so important.” 

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