Photography by Will Brenner.

Photography by Will Brenner.

CCM’s Studio Series proudly presents the 2014 Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase from March 6–8 in UC’s Cohen Family Studio Theater. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of CCM’s Dance Department with this all-new program, directed by Assistant Professor of Dance Deirdre Carberry. Admission is free, but reservations are required.

Subtitled “Six Dances at a Gathering,” this year’s Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase will set the stage for the new work of six talented undergraduates. In order to be selected for the highly competitive showcase, CCM’s aspiring choreographers submit written proposals and perform excerpts of the proposed choreography for Carberry. The result this year is a phenomenal collection of budding talent presenting works in complementary styles.

One of the 2014 participants is senior Emily Henderson, who has spent the past four months developing the choreography for her new work, “Life Through my Words.” “My style of choreography is very different,” Henderson explains. “I would say it’s best described as a mix between hip-hop and contemporary.”

The 12-minute piece is danced to two songs from the Glitch Mob’s 2010 album, Drink the Sea. A three-piece electronic group from Los Angeles, the Glitch Mob is known for its dense bass-lines, heavy drum hits and riveting breakdowns, a perfect fit for Henderson’s movement vocabulary. From concept to completion, the creative process has been time consuming; Henderson’s work utilizes 14 different dancers, but the investment is worth it. Henderson has developed choreography that is intricate and complex, and it literally spells out her story. The dancers use their bodies to formulate words and repeated movements take on meanings that form sentences. The piece’s unique styling is both touching and significant, dynamically telling the story of the human path through adversity to happiness.

Another exciting work for audiences to look forward to is by Jillian Conjura, a senior in CCM’s dance program and two-year veteran choreographer for the Dance Student Choreographer’s Showcase. This year, Conjura will be presenting a work titled “Six Degrees.” It will take her approximately eight weeks to set the contemporary ballet piece on her dancers, a cast consisting of one male and six females. The women will be dancing on point.

Her work is inspired by the notion of six degrees of separation, a concept theorizing that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else through a chain of not more than six people. Conjura’s choreography is fluid and emphasizes action and reaction, connecting the corps women to the principal male and female through movement. This year, Conjura says, “I wanted to try something different that was less narrative.” In past years, her choreography has been very personal, depicting events and emotions in her life. “Six Degrees” is danced to “Samaritan Song Movement Two,” from Samaritan Song’s self-titled album, Conjura’s movements are as beautiful, haunting and inspirational as the music itself.

Mandy Milligan, a senior in CCM’s dance program will be choreographing her fourth and final piece for the Dance Student Choreographer’s Showcase this year. She describes her 10-minute long composition, “You Are an Island,” as contemporary and post-modern. Milligan’s piece features 12 dancers, 11 females and one male performing in socks or barefoot to three songs: “You” by Gold Panda, “Year of the Ox” by Sufjan Stevens and “Tonight You Belong to Me” from the movie The Jerk. Milligan’s concept is inspired by her own creative process. “I was in the studio working,” she says, “and I kept having to stop to answer texts. I realized that my interaction with technology was actually a part of my process and I couldn’t leave that out.” Milligan’s piece talks about technology through art; it has changed every aspect of the way we interact, it connects us, drives us apart and everything in between. The dancers will be on stage with their phones or computers, taking pictures, videos, texting and interacting with the audience. The audience is encouraged to participate by texting the dancers, tweeting and making Facebook posts live.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 6
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 7
  • 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday, March 8

Cohen Family Studio Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Reserving Tickets
Tickets for the 2014 Dance Student Choreographers’ Showcase are FREE, but reservations are required. Please visit the CCM Box Office or call 513-556-4183 to reserve. Limit two tickets per order.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Community Partner: ArtsWave

The Dance Department gratefully acknowledges the support of the Corbett Endowment at CCM.

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