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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Dancing ‘Outside the Lines’


Come witness the third and final performance of the engaging Outside the Lines dance series.

The UC Davis Theatre and Dance Department will be showcasing its third and final performance of the Outside the Lines dance series from June 2 to 4, continuing the theme of inviting audiences to take part in the dancers’ and collaborators’ unique perspectives.

Olivia Schlanger, a second-year theatre and dance and psychology double major, has participated in the series as a dancer and choreographer, and discusses what makes the Outside the Lines series so unique. 

Schlanger notes how choreographing for Outside the Lines 3 was “exceptionally special,” as she did not begin with a theme in mind, and instead, simply began creating movement, and at a later point, explored the idea of omitting music from her dance all together to create an element of depth.

“Now, my movement has intention and meaning even though there isn’t a theme behind the piece,” Schlanger said.

A part of her unique choreographing process also included “lots of staring at the empty studio space, trying to imagine what would look best on the bodies [she] was working with.”

Schlanger also discusses the differences between the three performances in the Outside the Lines series. The first performance in December was rehearsal-based and included a conversation between David Grenke (Chair and Professor of the Theatre and Dance Department), the choreographers and the audience. Outside the Lines 2 further explored the dancers’ choreography process and again invited the audience to engage in a conversation with the performers with a talk-back discussion after the show. The third and final performance, Outside the Lines 3 will feature performances by guest artists Robert Kleinendorst and Parisa Khobdeh from the prestigious Paul Taylor Dance Company and will also include an interesting talk-back with all of the dancers and choreographers. The audience will have an opportunity to ask about the work and artists’ inspiration, giving the audience a glimpse into the creative process.

Tracy Carr, a 2016 UC Davis graduate with a double major in theatre and dance and communication, talked about how this event has given students the opportunity to choreograph, direct, work with peers and make executive decisions that allow them to showcase their personal work and growth. Working on this performance has also been a learning experience for the UC Davis grad.

“This performance, I am working with a 26 person cast and it has changed how I utilize space and bodies. I have had to create distance between characters while the stage is completely full,” Carr said. 

This third part of the Outside the Lines dance series is different than its predecessors yet also continues to explore similar elements, tying all three performances together.

“The theme of the performance changes over time, and the choreographers also change. The setup of the performance is similar if not identical, and for each series, the choreographers are guided down the same path that previous choreographers have gone,” Carr said.

Lauren Galier, a fourth-year dramatic arts and communication major, has also participated in the previous Outside the Lines performances and believes that the show is special due to the range of styles that the students and staff bring to each performance.

“Working in and on Outside the Lines is extremely different from any other performance I’ve been in or choreographed for. The students really get to explore their movement and reach new heights with it in this setting. Having talk-backs included in this type of performance is really great too. It helps include the audience more in the choreographic process that took place,” Galier said.

Catch this engaging dance performance from June 2 to 4 at 8 p.m. in Wright Hall’s Main Theatre. The suggested donation is $5. Please visit the Facebook event page for more information.


Written by: Pari Sagafi – arts@theaggie.org


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