by Kyle Van Frank
This week, Morgan Auditorium is once again ablaze with the magic and wonder of dance. I had the pleasure of sitting down with senior dance major, Olivia Zimmerman, and reflecting on her time here at UA and her last Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre. This concert is especially exciting for Zimmerman, as she not only dances, but has the pleasure of providing accompaniment for fellow senior Alexia Acebo’s piece “iyà màs.” The two collaborated to compose the music that is performed by Zimmerman. “It’s special to play for Alexia’s piece, because she is my very best friend,” says Zimmerman, noting that the piece originally debuted in the Spring 2017 Dance Collection and has since been expanded to a full-length number.
Another exciting aspect of this ARDT for Zimmerman is the variety in the show. She reflected on the opportunity to do and see such a vast array of work. “It’s really nice to do all the different styles‒– a myriad of different things.” Working on Associate Professor of Dance, Rita Snyder’s “Serenade in E” stood out to Zimmerman as an especially wonderful experience. The great pageantry of the piece allows “you [to] have freedom with it,” she says. This piece allows Zimmerman to engulf herself fully in the relationship of Dance and Music, freeing herself to deeper self-expression.
In discussing the importance of ARDT and its role in education in our Dance Program, Zimmerman noted that “it helps prepare you to work in a company.” ARDT allows our students a platform to collaborate and build their art together. This commitment to collaboration is gained through a repertory and art building that class doesn’t allow. The longer pieces not only build dexterity and stamina for performers, but also build greater and more diversified techniques for their training and personal repertoire.
What makes ARDT special are dancers like Zimmerman, fully committed and engaged to learning and self-growth. She will surely miss her time performing in ARDT, as we will also miss her. Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre runs Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 5:30, and Saturday at 2:00 in Morgan Auditorium. For tickets, visit UA.Tix.com.