For visiting assistant theatre/dance professor Tracey Bonner, the meaning behind New Voices, the University of Memphis' yearly fall dance concert, is an opportunity to showcase theatre and dance students at their best.
"Right now, our dance program is split somewhat between the University College and the dance department," she said. "One of the reasons behind this concert is not only about giving students a platform to perform, but also to choreograph and support their artistic abilities so we can come together."
U of M freshman dance student Rachael Arnwine, who is one of the performing students, said that she tried out for the concert because of her longtime love of dancing.
"I have danced all my life," she said. "When I heard about New Voices, I immediately knew I wanted to do it."
The concert, which will take place in the Michael D. Rose Theatre Friday, Nov. 15, and Saturday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m., will consist of 11 performances, most of them including genres of the contemporary, jazz and hip-hop variety. One particular type of dancing will be absent from the lineup, according to Bonner.
"There will be no tap dancing in this piece," she said.
Audience members should, however, expect to see a lot more flair for the dramatic, storytelling via movements and point work in these performances.
As far as storytelling is concerned, Arnwine said the two performances she's in revolve around two concepts: fallen angels and the concept of good versus evil.
In her own group's performance, senior dance education student Brittany Glover said she drew the idea of its concept from the Boston Bombing.
"The fact that no one knew that that was about to happen made me start to think about all of the other tragedies and natural disasters out there," she said. "There are always bad things happening to us, whether we like it or not. But when they do happen, people come together and help one another to try and make things better."
Glover admitted that she didn't want to try out for New Voices at first because she felt like she was too busy.
"Since I am a senior, I didn't want to regret not doing it," she said. "I am so glad I did, because even though I have been stressed out, I have enjoyed this time with all of these wonderful and talented dancers and I have gained family."
Arnwine hopes the concert will open people's eyes to the dance world.
"When people go to dance concerts, they either have to write a paper for a class or a friend of theirs is performing," she said. "I hope that people understand there is a dance program here, because most of them don't know we have a dance program at all."