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Senior Dancers Shine in Capstone Performances

Blend of popular music and profound themes creates memorable evening at White Recital Hall
Catie Walker
Jaeden Johnson (center), Clara Houske, Molly Sloan, Max Nelson-Steinhoff, Lydia Middleton, Brenna Hood, Natalie Adkins, and Troy Gardner in the dance House of Quensaun, to the song “My House” from the film Renaissance (2023) by Beyonce.

  Dancers dazzled in this spring’s conservatory Senior Dance Capstone performances. The performers took their final bows at the last show on Feb.10  in White Recital Hall.

  As the seniors were performing, the concert hall was buzzing with a lively audience in support of the dancers’ final step toward their degrees. 

  “It was such a great blend with some trendy contemporary stuff,” said student Manasa Sakthivel, who attended one of the performances. She described their show as above and beyond her expectations, with a balance of traditional ballet and modern dance styles.  

  Each dance was interwoven with a narrative, from a compellingly quirky murder mystery story to an interpretation of finding inner strength and power. 

  The performance was a visual storytelling experience, and the lighting and costume design made the showcase feel like a professional company. 

  The projects are the product of months of rehearsals for UMKC dance performance majors. Preparation began in October for this event, and students dedicated ample time to make sure they presented their best work.

“Out of the Upper Room”

  “I rehearsed 10 hours a week, which is a lot,” said senior dance performance major Jaeden Johnson. “But I’m so happy with the performances.” 

  Johnson danced in five numbers during the Friday show and two on Saturday. 

  The show on Friday, Feb 10, dedicated to Kansas City’s well-known dance photographer Mike Strong, featured 25 dancers. Each song was engaging and narrative-driven. Popular songs by Beyonce and Pink Floyd were mixed with powerful messages about life, friendship and courage. 

  To learn more about UMKC Dance, click here

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