Just dance: Exciting, eclectic ‘DanceWorks’ takes the stage April 4-5

DanceWorks concert rehearsalUW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance is gearing up for its second mainstage production of DanceWorks, the high-energy production that will take the stage April 4 and 5 at University Theatre in Theatre Hall.

Danceworks is a concert of dance,” said faculty member and Artistic Director Denise Carlson-Gardner, “and it is a very exciting, very eclectic concert.

“It is like going to a concert and watching videos live, I think, or even dance sections from a movie. We do musical theatre dance and you know it’s live right in front of you. So I think you could expect a well-rounded evening, a lot of very good music.”

Audiences might find that DanceWorks isn’t what they expect, said junior Melissa Reisdorf.

“A lot of people think it’s like a recital, like a little kid recital, and it’s not,” she said. “It’s a dance concert and it’s got a huge variety of pieces. We have tap pieces, we have lyrical, we have jazz, we have jazz funk. And a lot of the artists are really popular now. And it’s going to be a good one this year.”

DanceWorks concert rehearsal

Carlson-Gardner relishes the chance to have students demonstrate what they’ve learned on the big stage.

“The nice thing about this concert is we learn technique in classes,” she said. “So to have a concert like this where they can take their skills and apply them and perform is really important. It’s just a great opportunity for them to take it a step further and apply it to dances.”

For Reisdorf, dance at UW-Green Bay has become an enjoyable part of a well-rounded education.

“I’ve been dancing since I was five so that’s 15 years, almost 16,” she said. “And I came here I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to keep dancing. French is also something that I really love, so I am a French major with Dance and Education minors.”

Carlson-Gardner choreographs most of the dances, with two student choreographers featured in this year’s production. It’s a proud moment when the curtain goes up, she said.

DanceWorks concert rehearsal

“To see all of this come together and have an audience there watching it and the students dancing it is really where the reward comes in,” Carlson-Gardner said. “And inevitably, through every rehearsal, students grow tremendously.”

DanceWorks 2014 will be a crowd-pleaser, Reisdorf said.

“If you like music videos or if you like anything that’s recent, if you like the Gatsby soundtrack, I would say definitely go see it,” she said. “It’s got something of everything, something for everyone to see and it’s going be cool. Last year was fantastic and this year has even a wider variety.”