image of a woman dancing

Molly McMullen

The Illinois State University School of Theatre and Dance will present the Spring Dance Concert, opening April 25. Performances will be held in Westhoff Theatre and will run through April 28.

The Spring Dance Concert will feature original choreographic work by guest artist Molly McMullen. McMullen is the founder and artistic director of the Eisenhower Dance Detroit Youth Ensemble, a program that has trained pre-professional students since 2016. Her choreography has been recognized at the Youth American Grand Prix for several years and received top 12 placement in 2017 and 2018. For the Spring Dance Concert, she created a work with 10 women that explores female empowerment titled We Didn’t Ask.

Darby Wilde, head of the Dance Program, has created a trio performance titled Throwback Vibes, a piece that Darby says will have people dancing in their seats. “It’s a fun, athletic work with a touch of nostalgia.” When asked about how the dance concert differs in Westhoff’s thrust space compared to fall’s venue in the Center for Performing Arts Theatre, she indicates it is “a more intimate setting, in which movement details and emotion can readily be seen.”

New choreographic works will be highlighted from three other members of the dance faculty, and will feature student performances by members of the Dance Theatre ensemble. Greg Merriman created a work for five women titled Reste Fort. Inspired by the Indira Gandhi quote “There are two kinds of people—those that do the work and those that take the credit,” this haunting piece celebrates the power of women.

Madeline Reber has created a work for six women, while Kayley Pruitt choreographed a humorous work titled, Swept Up. This work explores both social and concert dance, ironically bringing them together through the feminine icon of the hairdryer. “The work questions how women are expected to ‘perform’ socially as well as on stage,” Pruitt states. “Swept Up utilizes humor and hairdryers to remake our vision of femininity, and reimagine the possibilities of everyday moments we are asked to perform.”

The Spring Dance Concert will be presented in the Westhoff Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 25-27 and at 2 p.m. April 27-28.

For tickets or more information, please contact the College of Fine Arts Box Office, located in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts, open 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday–Friday, call 309-438-2535, or purchase tickets online by visiting Tickets are $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults. Free performance parking is available in the School Street Parking Deck in spots 250 and above, at 400 W. Beaufort St., Normal.