A group of Dean College dancers performing on stage.

Friday, February 7 is opening night of our annual Choreographers’ Concert. In this program, student choreographers present their selected works to a panel of distinguished judges. This year’s panel is composed of Bill Hotaling, Eloise Kropp and Russell Clarke – all members of the Manhattan Dance Project. 

We spoke to Todd Shanks, Dance Instructor and Artist in Residence at the Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance at Dean College, to learn more about the production.

Q: What is your role in this production?

A: I am director and moderator of this show. 

Q: How are the performances selected?

A: Juniors and seniors submit written proposals of their work. I read each submission and select their work based on the quality of the submission and the thoughtfulness of the proposal. Dancers for each piece are selected by choreographers. 

Q: Can you describe the show for someone who has never experienced it before?

A: The audience can expect a high level of composition and an inside look into each piece. The feedback is given directly after each piece has performed, live on stage for the entire audience to hear. 

During our composition classes students receive constant feedback from peers and faculty at Dean, but to receive feedback from currently working professionals in the field of dance is priceless. 

Q: What are you most excited for the audience to see?

A: I am most excited for the audience to see what the students create. I have directed this show for five years and every year I’m surprised and inspired by the creativity of our students. 

Visit the Dean College Box Office to learn about our upcoming performances!