‘Works-A-Foot’ Review

'Works-A-Foot' dazzled the crowd with the unbelievable choreography that the performers brought to stage with every distinct movement.

Works-A-Foot astonishes audiences with breath-taking dances performed right here in Montclair.

Photo courtesy of Robert M. Cooper

This past weekend, Peak Performances delivered yet another fabulous show to Montclair and its surrounding communities. While Works-A-Foot was presented by Montclair State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance, choreographers and performers came from all over the country to add their artistic touch to this performance.

“Our students are so fortunate to be able to perform in such a range of choreography,” said Lori Katterhenry, Artistic Director. “This year we have works that span 80 years beginning with Martha Graham’s Panorama from 1935 and moving forward to premiers from 2015 by our own faculty and guest artists.  There is a huge range of movement and music styles in addition to works that give the students an opportunity to explore cool classicism, humor, and passion.”

Katterhenry, Deputy Chair for the Department of Theatre and Dance, Artistic Director and choreographer, as well as Artistic Director, Nancy Lushington, worked extremely hard to put together a cohesive group of guest artists, MSU faculty and students in a program of dances that flowed beautifully from one to the next. Each dance portrayed a different theme, which was often reflected in its title. The students in the Department of Theatre and Dance had the chance to learn from and perform alongside of industry professionals, a unique quality that set the show apart from other dance showcase.

“We are featuring work by Larry Keigwin, Pat Graney, in addition to work by faculty members,” said Katterhenry. “It is so exciting to see.”

Works-A-Foot features dances from various guest artists, including Larry Keigwin, with his piece titled, “Exit Like An Animal” from 2014. Keigwin is the artistic director of KEIGWIN + COMPANY, which performs primarily in New York City. He also holds awards for both performance and directing.

Bringing the work of a guest choreographer of his stature to the stage at Montclair State University was a challenge for the students involved; however, the end results were executed beautifully. From an audience’s perspective, the dancers looked as though they were portraying animals, hence the title. The movements were sharp and the choreography was brilliant. This was the finale of the show and most definitely left the audience in awe.

“It is so exciting to sit in the audience on opening night and see how much the dancers and the dances have grown since we first did our casting in September,” said Katterhenry.  “The students and the works seem transformed in just a few short months.  Their excitement is contagious and I remember with each show why I love my job so much!” 

All who were involved in the production of Works-A-Foot brought their individual talents to the stage. From the guest choreographers to the students, everyone was an important aspect of the show. Peak Performances brought Montclair another phenomenal show. Tickets are always free for MSU students with their school ID present.

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