Student dancers pay homage to New York City

By Joshua Herring

Members of Performing Dance Portmanteau at their 2014 Winter showcase. Photo courtesy of Kassidy Rineer, PDP

Members of Performing Dance Portmanteau at their 2014 Winter showcase.
Photo courtesy of Kassidy Rineer, PDP

   Since the fall of 2011, the student run dance organization, Performing Dance Portmanteau (PDP), has served KU as an opportunity for students to pursue different styles of dance. The club plans to take the diverse talents of its members to new levels this spring with a New York City themed spring showcase.

   New members were welcomed into PDP on Sunday, Feb. 1 with routine auditions. Felicia Nelson, KU graduate student and former PDP president, says now, “The club is focused on choreographing and getting ready for the spring showcase.”

   PDP will be performing the showcase, inspired by Frank Sinatra’s acclaimed “New York, New York,” on Sunday, April 19 at 2 p.m. in Schaeffer Auditorium.

   “The show will start with an introductory piece filled with foreshadowing of dances to come and places to see,” says PDP President Corey Summers. According to her, dancers throughout the show will “symbolize and show the iconic elements of the big apple from uptown riches down to Broadway and the lights of time square.”

   Returning PDP member Kassidy Rineer said, “We’re excited to be back on the stage again.” Before the Schaeffer Auditorium finished renovations, the club was required to perform their showcases on the Keystone Arena basketball courts. Since last fall, the dancers were finally able to perform on stage again.

   Summers says the audience can expect to see “an exciting homage to some of New York City’s timeless Broadway shows. We will honor memories and celebrate bright futures.”

   PDP members teach and perform a variety of dance styles: hip hop, jazz, ballet, modern, Irish and tap. With a New York themed showcase this time around, KU can expect to see an entertaining blend of some of these styles.

   Nelson is currently choreographing one of the Broadway-style numbers, incorporating both modern and jazz elements, while other members, like Summers, plan to utilize the newly introduced tap dance style to add some “Big Apple” flare.

   Rineer said, “I love PDP because, whether someone is new to dance or more experienced, we all have so much passion for it and we perform from the heart.”

   Nelson emphasizes the fact that anyone can join the club: “There’s a place for everyone in PDP. We’re a flexible group in terms of what styles people want to focus on, so newly interested members can learn multiple styles of dance and more practiced dancers can concentrate on what they would want to choreograph.”

   When watching PDP’s performance on April 19, it’s important to remember that every bit of choreography was created and executed by students in the club, with no outside guidance from professionals. Summers said, “It is bound to be a fabulous show!”

   Tickets, sold at the door, will be $3 for KU students and $5 for all other visitors. Dancers are currently reaching out to the KU community in order to find a suffering family in need to donate partial proceeds to.



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