Dancer doing an arabesque on pointe on stage

The 2022-23 performance season comes to a close this weekend with Dance Company, opening tonight and running through Sunday, April 30, 2023!

Award-winning faculty and guest choreographers will showcase the impressive talent of our Dance majors through a mixed bill of new and restaged dance works, ranging in style from hip-hop to jazz dance, tap to modern and ballet.

Though Dance Company is an annual performance, no two productions are the same. This year, the audience can expect a wide range of diversity, featuring styles such as a pointe excerpt from “Les Sylphides,” tap, hip-hop, modern and jazz. The show also highlights the strength of dancers in technique, performance, musicality and a love of dance, according to Jill Silverman, associate professor of dance – ballet, and director of the showcase.

“The show gets stronger every year, but what’s unique about this year are the new choreographers, including new hip-hop adjunct faculty and Dean alum Kayla Luoma ’13, and new tap adjunct faculty Thelma Goldberg,” Professor Silverman explained. “Jay T. Jenkins ’77, a Dean alum and guest artist from New York City, has choreographed a classical jazz blues piece that is very special! Marc Arentsen, dean of the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance, also choreographed this year, which is new for company. I love the new energy and choreographic ideas.”

Trevor McConnaughey ’25 is a dancer in "Capella Josh," a piece by one of those new choreographers. “It has been such a fun process working on this piece because there is a lot of individuality and improvisation where we add a little bit of our own flair into the mix,” he said. “There are a lot of intricate counter rhythms and athletic choreography that are a lot of fun to do! Thelma really pushed us and encouraged us to go out of our comfort zone, which I am very thankful for!”

Adrianna Hirn ’23 is in a total of four pieces in the showcase, and she also emphasized the diversity of styles as one of the main highlights of the show. “The wide range of movement from styles such as ballet to hip-hop allows for a truly entertaining performance,” she explained. “Each piece is so uniquely beautiful, so I cannot wait for the audience to see the dedication and hard work everyone has put into making this show happen!”

As Dance Company concludes another impressive year of dance and theatre performances, both performers and choreographers alike remarked on their love for putting the showcase together and the growth they’ve seen throughout the process.

“My favorite part about participating in company has been being able to grow and be more confident in myself,” explained Trevor. “I am super thankful for being pushed and I am very glad to be a part of this piece!”

“I love interacting with the dancers, observing their growth from rehearsals in January to the finished choreography in April,” Professor Silverman added. “I love watching the dancers share their love of performance, music and dance with the entire Dean Community. They light up our lives!”

For Adrianna, this showcase is even more special, as it marks her last time on the Main Stage at Dean.

“My favorite part about participating in Dance Company is dancing with my friends and working with the faculty members that choreographed the pieces,” she said. “The rehearsal process was always so fun and inspiring as an artist, and I loved seeing how unique the process was for each dance. I made so many great memories being in this showcase that I will take away with me after graduation!”

The Dean College production of Dance Company will take place in the Main Stage in the Dr. Paula M. Rooney Student Center at Dean College, 109 West Central Street, Franklin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. To purchase tickets, visit the Dean College Box Office.