After 30 years, Dance Montage remains a quiet, unassuming addition to Calgary’s cultural life. Filled with energy, inventiveness, and diversity, it is the longest running show in Calgary.
This year’s show, which has always resided at the U of C, consists of 11 different dances, each piece choreographed and danced by volunteers. The choreographers submit proposals for their dance ideas. Everyone from beginners to advanced, and engineers to dance majors encouraged by and accepted into Dance Montage.
"Dance Montage is about diversity," says director Dawn Dymond. "This year we have classical ballet, contemporary, jazz, funk, but also rhythmic rifle work, humourous with theatrical movement and East Indian movement."
Dance Montage gives the dancers of Calgary a rare occasion to display their diverse talents.
"It is a really important experience to perform for an audience," says Tina Schuetz, a dance major and choreographer for Dance Montage.
"It is different from rehearsal and class. The mood and experience is totally different"
Schuetz decided to create "Dancer’s Fugue" a piece accompanied by the jazz music of Jimmy Smith.
"I heard the music and I liked it and I had an idea," says Schuetz who participates in Dance Montage as a dancer throughout her studies at the U of C and wants to finish with a piece on stage.
Though participating in the rehearsals and performance can be used by dance majors for practicum hours toward their degree, the opportunity to perform is also employed by those not interested in dance as a career.
Kelly Husband is in the masters of teaching program, but found the time to participate in Dance Montage on the side.
"Being a non-dance person, everyone was picking up the steps faster, but everyone really helped me," says Husband. "We are a team out there."
Husband became interested in Dance Montage after taking a class from Dawn Dymond and attending a show.
"Once someone has seen the show and gets interested they can come to an audition," says Dymond. Auditions are held the Sunday after labour day each year.
With only one two-hour rehearsal per week, both Husband and Schuetz agree that bringing together a piece can be quite rigorous.
"The dancers have to be quite professional, but running a piece too often can make it stale," says Schuetz.
"You don’t mind the work because you know what the end product will be," concurs Husband.
Dance Montage runs in the University Theatre Nov. 18-20 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $12 general, and are available at the Campus Ticket Centre and at the door.