Did You Know?: Purdue Contemporary Dance Company

April 24, 2015  

Purdue Contemporary Dance Company

Purdue Contemporary Dance Company is slated to perform the 2015 Spring Dance Works concert on May 1-2 in Pao Hall's Nancy T. Hansen Theatre. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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The story of how the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company came to be dates all the way back to 1930. Carol Cunningham-Sigman, chair of the Division of Dance, says the company has evolved from what was once referred to as the "Modern Dance Club" -- an output of Purdue's "Department of Physical Education for Women" -- to what is known today as PCDC.

PCDC is a part of the Division of Dance, an academic unit of the Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. On May 1-2, the company is slated to perform the 2015 Spring Dance Works concert in Pao Hall's Nancy T. Hansen Theatre.

Five of the choreographers for Spring Dance Works are dance faculty. In addition to five faculty choreographers, two senior student choreographers were selected to create works for the main stage concert based on a proposal process, the completion of dance composition courses and previous exhibition of creative work in studio dance concerts.

"This spring our performances express the euphoria of sprites on a mountain under the full moon, explore what it is to be human, present a community keeping and revealing secrets and utilize both horizontal and vertical space with stabilized poles," Cunningham-Sigman says. "Students in our sound for the performing arts major created all of the accompanying music and sound pieces."

Though students from all disciplines may seek to dance in PCDC, they must audition to be a part of the company. Auditions are held once at the beginning of each semester in Pao Hall, and approximately 35 student dancers are selected for the company each semester. From there, the selected dancers are cast for specific choreography that matches their movement style.

"It's very satisfying to visually see the strong community of individuals on stage seamlessly dancing together as they deliver their movement to its fullest range," Cunningham-Sigman says. "The audience members will connect with one or several of the dance works and they will walk away intrigued, moved and inspired."

Tickets to the 2015 Spring Dance Works concert are available to purchase online or in person at Loeb Playhouse Box Office or Pao Box Office. More information about PCDC and the Division of Dance is available at https://www.cla.purdue.edu/dance/index.html.

Writer: Anna Schultz, 812-447-5229, schult70@purdue.edu 

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