CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Department of Theatre and Dance presented the Fall 2015 Island Dance Demo on December 1 at the Performing Arts Center. With its theme “Moving Words,” each performance paid homage to a particular quote chosen by the choreographers.
TAMU-CC Associate Professor of Dance Jilissa Cotten, who coordinates the Island Dance Demo, was in New York with students when she came up with the idea for this semester’s Dance Demo theme.
“This summer, when we were in New York for a World Dancing Cultures Course, I took a group of students there for five weeks to see all the performances, and experience,” said Cotten. “So I started thinking about how we could use quotes to represent our pieces.”
The performances featured student choreographers enrolled in Dance Composition courses, the Stage Dance Student Organization and Del Mar College Dance Ensemble. Choreographers from the Islander Dance Team, Dance Composition II course, and Del Mar College Dance Ensemble also performed. Cotten partnered with Shawnee Jones Bonnette, an Adjunct Dance Professor at TAMU-CC and Dance Professor at Del Mar College, to compose and perform two pieces that were inspired by the Bailando Dance Festival.
“We put on this event every semester, and it’s a culmination of what students do in their dance courses, and it’s a final product that they actually get to participate in,” Cotten said. “Dance is a performing art, so not only are we training, we also need to be teaching the students about performance and performance quality work.”
The production incorporated many dance styles such as jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary dance and modern.
“It’s a great opportunity to show what we have been working on,” said Thi Nguyen, Island Dance Demo Performer and graduate student of fine arts. “I’m thankful for the dance classes offered on campus. It’s become a part of my story and has made me who I am.”