Danceworks 2016 Review

‘Danceworks,’ brought to the Alexander Kasser stage this past weekend by Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, was wonderful!

MSU performers never cease to amaze the audience with their talents, as expressed in ‘Danceworks.’

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Schieder.

Every year, Montclair State University’s Department of Theater and Dance brings three dance concerts to the stage. This past weekend students and faculty from the department performed in the annual Danceworks recital, the biggest dance concert of the school year. The event drew large crowds as it featured three premieres by both Montclair faculty and guest artists. The premiering pieces were: Nancy Lushington’s Static Friction, Kathleen Kelley’s Proteo (a dance film) and Christian Von Howard’s That We Are.

Danceworks 2016 featured close to 100 very talented dancers from the Department of Theater and Dance as well as guest artists. The concert began with the Static Friction premiere. This work was composed of three different songs, allowing for slight transitions between choreography styles throughout the number. Doris Duke Artist Award winner Pat Graney’s Colleen Ann and Maxine Steinman’s Bach and Forward followed. Both were modern dance pieces that greatly showed off the talents of the department. Concluding the first act was one of Larry Keigwin’s newest works, Exit Like an Animal.

Opening the second act was the premiere of Proteo (a dance film). This was certainly a hard number to follow! Choreographer Lone Kjaer Larsen was up for the challenge with the restaging of Martha Graham’s Panorama (1935). Following this historic piece, another premier took the stage. That We Are, choreographed by Christian Von Howard, allowed students to show off their modern dance skills. The finale was a breath-taking piece by Fredrick Earl Mosley, titled Wild and Free. The Alexander Kasser stage was immersed in talent as the dedicated performers brought the concert to an end with a strong finish.

“The dancers did an amazing job tonight,” said audience member and MSU junior, Alexandra Reda. “You could see that they are really passionate about what they do and that they worked really hard to put on a great performance.”

Danceworks 2016 was unique from past years because on top of the live performances, it also featured the dance film, Proteo, directed by assistant professor of theatre and dance, Kathleen Kelley. The film was in production for months prior to its premiere this weekend. MSU’s Film Department partnered with the Department of Theater and Dance to film in various locations all over campus. Proteo featured text from Sarah Rose Nordgren’s poem titled, “Prion.” Seeing the final product was amazing, as it was evident that so much work and dedication was put into the project.

Support Peak Performances and MSU’s Department of Theater and Dance by attending shows at the Alexander Kasser Theater. Please visit for ticketing information and a schedule of shows. Students receive one free ticket with their student ID.

Check out for more information about majors in the department and faculty.

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