Winter Dance offers chance to see, interpret art in a different way

Students dance together in the final moments of the opening peice named "We're It", choreographed by Kate Digby. K-State students who are part of the dance program at the university performed on Nov. 29, 2018, at the 2018 Winter Dance. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

This weekend, in the Mark A. Chapman Theatre in Nichols Hall, Winter Dance will offer Wildcats and the Manhattan community a chance to view the dance talents of Kansas State students.

Practice and planning for the concert began early this semester; in total, Winter Dance is comprised of seven pieces.

Allison Griffin, senior in psychology, is in two pieces, one of which is in complete silence.

“There’s no music except that one of the dancers is hooked up to a bio sensor machine — it picks up her heartbeat,” she said. “The audience can actually hear her live heartbeat as she’s performing which is really cool. It’s a contemporary modern piece.”

Griffin said she likes the piece because it is based on breathing and being connected with your body, so she has to focus more on being connected with the other dancers and the movement itself.

“The movement just makes you feel good when you do it,” Griffin said. “I love pieces where you almost feel harmony between the other dancers you’re with because you have to. I really enjoyed that whole process of learning that and putting it together — it’s kind of like self-exploration.”

Two students perform as part of the piece named "Fragmented Cognition", choreographed by Julie L. Pentz. This peice was performed by students on Nov. 29, 2018 as the first part of the 2018 Winter Dance. (Olivia Bermgeier | Collegian Media Group)

Emma Hochman, junior in political science, has a minor in dance and is in two pieces in the show. One of her favorite parts of Winter Dance is the setting, she said.

“My favorite part of Winter Dance specifically is that it’s in Chapman Theatre, which is in Nichols,” Hochman said. “The stage is really small and close to the audience members, so I can really see everybody I’m supposed to be dancing for instead of being really far away from them.”

By being physically closer to the audience and receiving and expelling energy allows Hochman to connect with both the audience and Winter Dance, she said.

Hochman said she enjoys her modern piece. She said the piece can be depressing at times, but, in the end, it leaves you with a hopeful and powerful feeling.

The piece, Hochman said, is more about feminism, as it represents young girls and childlike scenes that involve recess games or other fun memories that are interrupted by something odd and strange, which clashes with the mood of the piece.

“How I’m interpreting it is how every child deserves to have a childhood that is free and expressive and uninterrupted, but women so often have interruptions in their childhood where something like young sexualization or abuse or unnecessary expectations are put on them and it interrupts our development,” Hochman said.

Hochman said people should come to Winter Dance because, unlike a play or musical, or other art forms that give the audience a storyline, dance lets the audience interpret the art for itself.

“Dance is really interesting because it isn’t a verbal art,” Hochman said. “You have to interpret it on your own. I think it’s an interesting experience for people who have never seen it before to take that opportunity to see art in a different way.”

Winter Dance will run Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m., with a Saturday matinee on Dec. 1 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking on the Winter Dance ’18 link at or at the door.

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.