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Marshall University dance company prepares for annual concert performance

By ERIKA RITTENHOUSE
On October 12, 2012

AMUSED Dance Company is in its fourth year and ready to put on its second annual AMUSED concert.

AMUSED, A Marshall University Ensemble of Dance, was started four years ago by five students. The purpose of AMUSED is to build the Marshall University dance program, as well as showcase dancers of all skill level. Dance Workshop 491 is where dancers come together as a class, as well as a company to put together the concert.

Jessica Fox is the professor and choreographer for AMUSED. She received an undergraduate degree in dance from Ohio University and continued her passion for dance by performing in New York as well as opening a non profit dance company in Washington D.C. She now works closely with AMUSED and is dedicated to the company.

It is a student ensemble and a celebration of dance at Marshall University, Fox said. We hope to create an experience that people will enjoy.

The concert performance focus on an abstract look at life from childhood to today and encompasses collaborative choreography between professors and students.

The company prepares for the concert in an eight-week workshop from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Thursday, the company rehearsed with run-throughs of the show, with a main focus on perfecting the abstract visual elements of dance and movement. The purpose of the performance is to tell a story that people can connect to.

We want everyone in the audience to be able to connect with the story we tell through dance in some way, Brittany McDonnell, AMUSED president said.

The first half of the concert is a continuous piece choreographed by Jessica Fox, with the second half featuring choreography from students. The student choreography is based on personal experiences and the dances and movements tell a story about who they are.
Weve all put our own little personal piece into the show, Christopher Collis, AMUSED vice president, said. its a lot of personal work and motivation of what weve felt and experienced that weve collided into one piece. We hope that from meshing all of these stories that people in the audience will be able to pull something they have experienced or something theyve seen and that they can connect with us through our dance.

The AMUSED Dance Company concert performance will be on Wednesday, in the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse at 7 p.m.

Erika Rittenhouse can be contacted at rittenhouse@marshall.edu.

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