The Columbia College Dance Company (CCDC) is the “hub” of the Dance Program. It provides a vehicle for community-building and for the development of leadership, artistry, and dance production skills. The CCDC is made up of dance majors and faculty liaisons.
Upon entering the dance program, majors become members of the CCDC, which operates as a for-credit course each semester.
Members attend weekly meetings in addition to participating in all scheduled CCDC events throughout the academic year.
The students elect a working Board of Directors and follow the constitution as a formal student organization at Columbia College.
The CCDC works closely with the dance faculty and is responsible for providing all technical components necessary to produce dance performances.
CCDC choreographers produce works for To-Go Shows and the Fall and Spring Choreographers’ Showcases. Yearly functions include mentoring freshman/transfer majors, coordinating open auditions, Open House Weekend, Senior Banquet, space requests, community outreach, recruitment programs, and fundraising events.
All dance majors attend an annual production skills seminar, as well
as training sessions for specialized production roles (e.g., sound and light board operation). The seminar introduces the dancer/choreographer to the technical director and outlines production protocol for the performance space. Included in the seminar is a tour of the space, discussion of the various job descriptions for each technical area, and an introduction to the vocabulary needed to improve communication between artists and technicians. Production roles include stage manager, stage crew, house manager, ushers, sound operator, technical preparation/pre-production crew, producer, and wardrobe manager.
Choreographic residencies with guest artists are offered at least once per year. These residencies are a high priority for the education of each student.
Typically the guest choreographer is in residence for one to two weeks. Guest artists of national prominence who have set their work on our student dancers include BeBe Miller, Laura Dean, Blondell Cummings, Creach/Koester, Rachael Lampert, Liz Lerman, David Dorfman, Sean Curran, Nicholas Leichter, 1*4*8 The Collective, Paloma McGregor, Vincent, Thomas, dana bella, Lisa Wheeler, Charles Flacks, Celeste Miller, Mark Haim, and Lori May. All majors are expected to audition for the guest artists’ pieces and to fully participate as a cast member, if chosen.
A Process for Formal Presentation and Finished Student Works
Each semester the Columbia College Dance Company (CCDC) is responsible for presenting the works selected by the faculty for the Choreographers’ Showcase. The leadership of CCDC expects fall production technical assistance, costumes, publicity, and external communication. The producers are responsible for all coordination between CCDC, technical director, box office, and dance faculty.
Fall Choreography Showcase works are considered for spring tours, presentations at the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA), and presentation at the South Carolina Dancing Conference (SCDA). Spring Choreography Showcase works are considered for fall tours and presentation in Kaleidoscope at the South Carolina Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference (SCAHPERD).
A Process for Improving Artistry
To-Go Shows are informal presentations where dance students can show works-in-progress and completed performance work with the greater community. The presentations are an opportunity for students to share their choreographic inquiries and receive constructive feedback from their professors and peers. The shows also operate as a way for dance faculty members to adjudicate student work for produced concerts and give the community a chance to look inside the program’s creative development. The purpose of the To-Go Show is to encourage students to engage in choreographic processes and to create a platform for students to practice and improve their artistry through critical response.
Feedback emphasis is placed on the educational process for the student choreographer. Discussion first centers on those aspects of the choreography, which are successful and then moves to suggestions for improving the work. The faculty, along with the CCDC executive board’s input, ultimately chooses those finished student works, which are deemed appropriate for the Fall and Spring Choreographer’s Showcase.
The To-Go Shows occur two to three times a semester during lunch and are listed on the Dance Program and Fine Art’s calendars.