By Frank Miller
Student-choreographed. Student-performed. Student-produced.
Students created the Willamette Dance Company in 2009 to provide an alternative outlet for those who wanted to choreograph, work together, and, mostly, perform.
It has grown so much that 100 people have been known to occupy the stage, with vital help from the stage managers and student interns behind the scenes. Eighteen groups led two performances in Smith Auditorium this April, and while admission was free, they were able to collect donations that were given to the Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Center.
All the dance pieces are fresh creations. Some are collaborations among dancers, and others are opportunities for choreographers to see their vision come to life. In all cases, the finished products become expressions of the students’ creative spirit and communions between the audience and the performers. They also happen to be visually stunning.