Showcase celebrates a decade of dance

The Choreographer's Showcase marked its decade-long anniversary Friday and Saturday nights with concerts that embraced performance art, ballroom, ballet, belly dancing, jazz and modern dance.

In addition to such mainstays as the Lawrence Ballet Ensemble, Troupe Raghsidad and the Prairie Wind Dancers, newcomers St�rling Dance Theatre and Reach � a movement collective joined the fold to make the nearly two-hour concert more diverse in style and expertise.

"Prodigal Daughter," a modern dance by Mona Enna of St�rling Dance Theatre, opened on a narrative note with four servants dancing around a father and his two daughters. As arguments among the family members became animated, the movement suddenly slowed � mimicking how a few seconds seem like hours during a crisis. One daughter is banished, an act she sees as opening the door to a new life. The dancers' expressiveness and well-extended lines were a delight to watch.

Other highlights:

� Two jazz pieces: "Fever," a sultry and playful number choreographed by Molly Gordon and performed by Thessa Klocke, and "I'm Outta Love," a tantalizing work created by Megan Jensen and Jessika Roper, and performed by Roper, that mixed vernacular and traditional jazz.

� "Retro Cocktail Fantasy," a four-section work choreographed by JoAnne Zingo Hargis and Cynthia Willsey. Willsey used a red scarf to show how a prop can be used effectively to enhance the mood and storytelling power of dance, while Hargis' mastery of arm movements proved that belly dancing is more than hip action.

� "Joan's Prayer," a dramatic modern dance choreographed and performed by Amy Meyers of St�rling Dance Theatre. Meyers' use of contrasting hand and arm movements captured the spiritual struggle that Joan of Arc experienced as she both resisted and reached out to God.

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