When you visit or pass by the Springfield Art Museum, it’s hard to miss a large, bright yellow sculpture. It’s a piece called Sun Target II by sculptor John Henry.
They performed it at the March American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) Central Conference at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. They’ll also show it off at MSU’s upcoming Spring Dance Concert: “Art in Motion.”
The dance was a hit with dance industry professionals.
They not only selected “Sun Target” as one of three dances to be performed at the conference’s gala performance, but also as an alternate for the national festival this summer.
“This is a major recognition for our dance program and our dance students,” said Sarah Wilcoxon, MSU associate professor of dance. “We’re so excited our recent growth as a program is being recognized at a national level.”
The dancers include:
- Courtney Adamson from Springfield, Missouri (dance major).
- Josie Anderson from Wichita, Kansas (dance minor).
- Hattie Geltemeyer from Rogersville, Missouri (dance major).
- Taylor Hartman from O’Fallon, Missouri (dance major).
- Halle Lawson from Brighton, Missouri (dance minor).
- Aili McFall from Oronogo, Missouri (dance minor).
- Elease McFall from Oronogo, Missouri (dance minor).
- Kelsey Zimmerman from Springfield, Missouri (dance major).
Goldman, who has served as a conference adjudicator three times, said the concerts at the conference offer an opportunity for everyone to show what they can do. It’s a positive environment, but also very competitive.
“Only a few pieces get selected for the gala, so it means a lot if your piece is chosen. It’s not just the choreography that’s being evaluated, but also the performance of the dancers.”
Due to Goldman being from another state, the students had to learn and master the dance in a short time over fall break last year.
“It was a totally new experience because I was used to learning pieces over a while,” Zimmerman said.
“It was also a new style for me, but I ended up really enjoying it. It was the coolest experience to work with someone who absolutely knows what she’s doing and is so smart about the way she choreographs.”
Highlights of the dance
The dance, performed to jazz music by Dave Brubeck, reflects how Goldman interpreted and experienced the Sun Target sculpture – carefully structured, yet playful and whimsical.
“I created sections of the dance that are highly structured and organized, rhythmic and repetitive. And then there are sections of it that look free, improvisational and spontaneous,” Goldman said.
She notes some of her choreography is all her own material and highly structured. But she also asked the dancers to manipulate the movement, adding their own personalities and creativity.
“It was a collaborative process, so their creativity is part of it. Their voice is in there,” Goldman said.
For Adamson, she was both shocked and relieved when she heard of the dance’s selection for the gala.
“We’d put so much work into it and to be recognized was like icing on the cake. Getting the recognition made us proud,” she said.
A one-of-a-kind experience
The opportunity to attend and perform at the conference was an unforgettable experience for the students.
“The highlight was meeting all the other dancers and building community with them because they were so incredible,” Elease said.
“There was such a widespread variety of skills and specializations, and I gained exposure to dance styles I’ll probably never get to do again.”
A chance to enjoy “Sun Target”
Recently, Goldman returned to the MSU campus to work with the dancers again.
They’ll perform “Sun Target” at the Spring Dance Concert: “Art in Motion” May 4-6 and 7 in Coger Theatre.