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HCC dancers ready to showcase their talent

College dance concerts are always a fun place for brushing up on modern currents in the art, but spring semester programs are often a pure delight. They represent the culmination of eight months' work for student dancers who relish the opportunity to show off what they've learned.

The Arts Collective Dance Company at Howard Community College will showcase their many talented dancers in four concerts at HCC's Smith Theatre Thursday-Sunday, March 1-4.

"This is our sixth season and the best program so far," said Renee Brozic Barger, the director of the Arts Collective Dance Company.

Nine works will debut in the four shows, all created by professional choreographers. "This time around, we invited artists to submit their works. After thoughtful consideration, five of the dances were chosen for the program," Barger said. The other four dances were created by faculty and guest artists.

Highlights will include "Walking on Air," a fusion that incorporates jazz, modern and African dance by Candice Musselman.

Stephanie Yezek brings to the stage "Good Grief," a multimedia modern dance quartet that "explores the various ways we deal with loss, and the ultimate freedom we can achieve when we accept the truth as it really stands," according to the popular dancer/choreographer.

Barger's "A Fancy" is a seductive look at the lively interplay of a flirtatious couple. This new dance is inspired by the current exhibit called "Art of Seduction" in the adjacent Rouse Company Foundation Gallery. Sophomore Antonio Beverly shines in this piece and in the more contemplative "Bell Song," created by the renowned choreographer Daniel Phoenix Singh.

For students who will be moving on from the college, the concert is bittersweet. Lindy Allen, for one, will soon be leaving Columbia to further her career in dance. She pops up in a number of the dances, "always giving it her all," said Barger.

Come this weekend and next, Howard Community College will be overflowing with dancers as Barger and festival coordinator, Nicole McClam, present another dance event, the fourth annual Dance Festival that brings together professional dancers and students training in the area.

The two-day event includes master classes, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, a Saturday evening concert and a Sunday afternoon showcase. Barger calls this event, "a way of reaching out to the community to those interested in the many aspects of dance."

For local aficionados who cherish those rare professional dance appearances in Columbia, one highlight will surely be the Festival's gala at HCC's Smith Theatre Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.

The Arts Collective Dance Company performances will be Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, March 4 at 3 p.m. Tickets range from $10-$15. On March 4, a discussion will be held after the performance with the creative team and the company. For more information, go to or call the box office at 410-518-1500.

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