The University of Montana Dance Program offers its students, faculty, and guest artists several valuable and diverse opportunities to choreograph and perform in its annual dance concerts. Each year the faculty and students collectively produce seven unique dance concerts.
Our season commences with UM Dancers on Location: A Site-Specific Dance Concert. This free concert presents dances as installations in unusual venues across campus. Dances are created for specific sites such as fire escapes, groves of trees, elevators, stairwells, bridges, rivers, roofs of buildings, and sculptures. While this concert poses a remarkable opportunity for choreographers to envision making dance in a wholly new fashion, it also provides a new vantage point for the audience–one that travels rather than one that remains stationary in a traditional theater.
Dance Up Close concludes the semester, celebrating new dances generated by students, faculty, and guest artists. Produced in the beautiful black-box Masquer Theatre, this concert features work that ranges in genre, scope, and size and also features original lighting designs created by the School's Design/Technology students.
Each semester, an Informal Dance Concert is performed in the Open Space in front of consistently sold-out audiences. The highly anticipated Informal Dance Concert offers novice, experienced, and professional choreographers the opportunity to choreograph for an experimental venue.
The American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) Benefit Concert, held at the beginning of each Spring Term, helps Dance students raise money to attend the annual Northwest Regional Conference of ACDFA, sponsored by a different university each year. Performed in the Open Space, this concert is primarily produced by the students and features choreography selected to be performed at ACDFA and includes all of the dancers attending the conference.
The Spring Dance Showcase, also performed in the Open Space, provides opportunities for students, faculty, and guest artists to experiment with new dance concepts and ideas in choreography. This concert typically features 18 new dances that are performed in two separate programs that alternate each evening and for one matinee. Dances range in their structure–from choreographed to improvised, in their development–from mere concept to complete works, in their genre–from contemporary modern dance to ballet to work derived from contact improvisation, and in their size–from solos to duets to large group works. Choreography is supported by lighting designs created by the School's Design/Technology students.
The culminating performance for the UM Dance Program, late Spring's Dance in Concert, is performed in the beautiful and intimate Montana Theatre, a 499-seat theatre proscenium stage. Featuring the most finely crafted, performed and developed choreography presented throughout the year, Dance in Concert celebrates excellent dance created by guest artists, faculty, students and alumni. This concert is fully produced and features beautiful costume and lighting designs conceived and constructed by the School's Design/Technology students.