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WKU Dance Company to perform annual WinterDance: Fairy Tales & Fables

Ian Pitchford
Members of the WKU Dance Company perform “Primal” during Evening of Dance in the Russel Miller Theatre at Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center on April 20, 2023.

The WKU Dance Company will present their annual WinterDance this weekend with showings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Van Meter Auditorium. 

The winter dance production circulates through recurring themes each year. This year, the company will put on a Fairy Tales & Fables inspired production. 

“We rotate through a handful of shows that we revisit every alternating year,” Meghen McKinley, associate professor in dance, said. “It’s fun because the dancers have seen the concert before, usually as prospective students, and then they get excited to be in a concert that they had seen as high school dancers.” 

The last time the company produced Fairy Tales & Fables was in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

McKinley is the choreographer of three pieces for the concert and a collaborator on the narration and transitions during the show. 

The production includes a “variety of ballet, jazz, modern, and tap,” according to the WKU Theatre and Dance Instagram. 

The Dance Company began training at the beginning of the semester to prepare for the production. 

“Each fall, our dance company auditions at the start of the semester, and we cast and begin rehearsing in September,” McKinley said. 

Faculty and choreographers, however, have been working on this production earlier than that and have been preparing for the logistics of WinterDance since last spring. 

“Technical faculty and staff have also been working throughout the fall semester to prepare the costumes, scenery, lighting, and sound needs for the performance,” Amanda Clark, professor and dance program coordinator, said. 

Clark is a faculty director and choreographer for WinterDance. 

An important feature of this year’s WinterDance production is that it is family friendly. McKinley said the show is lighthearted and nostalgic and that the characters are interactive. 

“One of the most exciting things for us and why we really stuck with the concept of WinterDance so many years ago was to have a way for moms, dads, uncles, grandmas and kids in the community to be able to come see something fun,” McKinley said. 

McKinley said that there are familiar aspects including Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood. She said that ballet dancers will come to life from a painting and that the characters get to be imaginative and creative. 

“This performance is a wonderful opportunity for the Bowling Green and surrounding communities to view and support dance,” Clark said. “It will be a great experience for families and children given the fairy tale theme and the variety of narrative and engaging choreography.”

A book drive is taking place during the production to donate books to a local school to coincide with the theme of the production. Participants are to bring a new copy of their favorite childhood book and donate it. 

All of the productions put on by the WKU Dance Company are self funded through ticket sales. 

“It’s so important for the community and a wider audience to come and see in support because that’s how we give this professional opportunity to our dancers each semester,” McKinley said. 

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Fine Arts Box Office. Adult tickets are $16, students and seniors (65+) are $12 and children aged 12 and younger are $10. 

“We hope that the campus community and beyond will come out and support the hard work of these truly talented students,” Clark said. 

News Reporter Maggie Phelps can be reached at [email protected] 

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