SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock University’s Department of Dance hosted its inaugural Emerging Choreographers Student Concert Nov. 18 via a livestream on the department’s YouTube channel.

The Emerging Choreographers Student Concert, formerly known as the Winter Concert, is being conducted virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The name change, according to Lindsay Viatori, an assistant professor of dance and the concert’s artistic director, was made to “more appropriately represent what the concert is and what it features.”

“The concert, just like before, is a really wonderful program highlighting the creative research of our students,” said Viatori. “It is a platform for students who have completed prerequisite courses to hone their choreographic skills, to explore new concepts outside of the classroom setting, and to look at the ways they want to work in the field of dance.

“This concert particularly showcases the strong work of choreographers who have deeply developed, refined and edited their pieces; these really are final projects for these students.”

Performances for the show were selected based on auditions. Initially, junior and senior student choreographers submitted letters of intent and, if accepted to move forward in the process, audition other students to participate in their pieces. Group works are limited to six students or fewer, including the choreographer, to ensure social distancing could be maintained in rehearsal areas.

The auditioning process included a group of 29 choreographers and 75 dancers, auditioning for student directors Talynn Holman, a senior dance major from Philadelphia, and Skylar Smith, a junior dance major from Walworth. A total of 15 groups met the requirements to perform in the show.

Local student choreographer included Kaitlin Yankovich, a junior dance major from Ridgway.

While this year’s event occurred virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students showcased their work through prerecorded segments during the concert.

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