Dancing in the Fall

a1By Shauna Davis

I think I speak for the whole student body when I say that we are excited to have passed the halfway mark in the semester.  Sure, late nights of cramming for midterms are over, but for Meadows Dance majors, our biggest production is right around the corner.   This semester’s Fall Dance Concert opens next week and we are excited about the four new works (two of them world premiers) that we will have the chance to perform.

What I love about SMU is the all the opportunities it provides.  I was lucky enough to have been selected for Antony Tudor’s 1937 ballet, Dark Elegies. Because performance is live and subject to change at any moment, much of dance is passed down through an oral tradition.  So, in order to restage Dark Elegies, 80 year-old Donald Mahler, the senior stager of Tudor’s works traveled from New York to be with us here at SMU.  To be able to learn from someone who worked closely a2with an icon in the world of dance, even though his moves aren’t as spiffy as they were fifty years ago, is really extraordinary.  I get chills thinking about it!  He stayed with us for two weeks teaching us the choreography, learning our names(both wrong and right), and showing us his love of dance and it’s ability to send universal messages that touch us all.  He will be back to make the final touches on the piece this week and I am very excited.

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