Companydance Audition Form

Companydance is a student dance company comprised of a range of separate projects and pieces offering a wide variety of performing opportunities. It is open by audition to all students. Companydance’s primary aesthetic is grounded in the modern dance tradition, but is by no means restricted to it. The audition form is located at the bottom of this webpage. The form is due Sunday, Sept. 7 at 11 pm. Important – Read this entire webpage carefully before filling out the audition form.

Companydance Casting

It is the Dance Department’s desire to welcome, include and encourage every student who wishes to participate in our classes, companies and dance major. We make a fervent effort to model this philosophy when casting students for dance projects. The department considers a number of factors during the process including:

  • the student’s previous college-wide curricular and co-curricular experiences, including the ability to fulfill commitments and to work responsibly and diligently, both independently and in a group environment
  • the student’s range of previous Companydance experiences and consideration for future growth and development
  • the number and types of dancers required for each project
  • the student’s dancing ability

Students are eligible to be cast in a maximum of three (3) Companydance projects/pieces. You are able to select the exact number of projects (1 to 3) you would like to be cast in. This number usually depends upon your anticipated academic load and other co-curricular activities you are involved in. In selecting the number of projects for which you would like to be considered, understand that you are also expected to maintain your rigorous academic schedule, honor your other co-curricular activities, and allow for as much personal time as you need in order to remain a healthy, contributing member of this college and dance community. You are encouraged to select all the piece(s)/project(s) that you are interested in; that will challenge you; that you have not yet experienced, and that you are able to fully commit yourself to. To enhance your opportunity for involvement in Companydance make sure your schedule is clear during the rehearsal times of as many projects as possible. Dance majors are expected to self-select participation in a wide variety of Companydance experiences, including a diverse range of faculty, guest artist, and student works. Note – You must be enrolled in a movement intensive dance class during each term of your participation in Companydance.

There are 8 project/pieces to choose from this year. Read about each one and use this information in your decision making process:

A – First Year Project (FYP)

  • Directed by Anthony Roberts
  • Dancers who are new to the College or Companydance have the opportunity to work in a company setting with each Dance Department faculty in the span of one academic year. A range of movement aesthetics, styles and philosophies will be explored. The project results in an end of the academic year concert.
  • This is required of all first year students & highly recommended for first-time participants of Companydance.
  • First Year Project rehearses the entire year.
  • Rehearsal schedule beginning Tuesday, 9/16: Tuesday: 3:00-5:00 p.m. and Thursday: 3:45-5:45 p.m.
  • Performances / Events
    • First Glimpse – Friday, October 3, 4:00 p.m.
    • Theatre Engine  – Evening rehearsals March 4-6 and performances on March 7-8. Development rehearsals throughout the year during regularly scheduled FYP rehearsals.
    • First Year Project / Open Stage Concert – May 8, 4:00 p.m.
    • Additional showing opportunities are possible throughout the year and will be planned in consultation with cast members.

B – Senior Dance Concert Choreography Projects

  • Directed by the senior dance majors selecting choreography as their senior dance capstone project option.
  • Regular Weekly Rehearsal Schedule: Each senior dance project rehearses separately, twice each week, once for a 90-minute block of time between 5-11:00pm M-F and once for a two-hour block of time on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Additional weeknight and weekend rehearsals beginning Friday, 12/5 and running through the Senior Dance Project Performances.
  • Performances: Senior Dance Concert (Thurs, Dec. 11 and Fri., Dec. 12 @ 7:30 p.m. in Kelsey Theater).
  • If you are in Christmas Festival, you are able to perform in the Senior Dance Concert. Note that a keen awareness to schedule and clear, open, and timely communication between you and your senior choreographer are imperative!
  • By selecting the Senior Dance Concert projects as one or more of your project options, you will be considered for all of the Senior Dance Concert projects. You are not able to indicate your interest for participation in individual senior projects.

Senior Dance Capstone Project Descriptions

Sarah Cassavant
The spine of my piece is translation; more specifically the translation of complex thoughts, phrases, and words into movement. The main question driving my project and the creative process is whether or not a written phrase can be translated into a movement phrase that makes the viewer/reader feel the same emotions and come away with roughly the same message. I am looking for 5-6 dancers who are willing and open to exploring this theme through some improvisation and manipulation of set phrases, and who will be invested and committed to the process.

Karina Culloton
Thematically, this piece will investigate the power and strength that stems from personal origins and new beginnings. Through the movement creation process, we will be focusing on mid-level, athletic movement. I am looking for 3-7 dancers dancers who are interested in creating, sweating and going on a journey with me.

Anna Grimes
This piece will be focused on conditioning for dancers and it will help develop the dancers’ strength to be able to support themselves and each other. The piece itself would incorporate high levels of energy, fitness, and teamwork. I would like to have 7-9 dancers who are committed to expanding their physical abilities as dancers.

Alisha Jihn
I am interested in the relationship between order and chaos, particularly that found in the prints of Kandinsky. I am particularly interested in finding movements that can balance order and chaos. I am looking for 5-7 dancers who are willing to improvise, collaborate, and find micromovements that define themselves within our world of order and chaos.

Seipati Jonga
For this piece, I would like to focus on finding movement that is original, specific, and natural to the dancer. I am hoping to explore the effect of changing rehearsal spaces and techniques, and different methods of presentation and performance. Imagination, the willingness to explore and leave one’s comfort zone, and being comfortable improvising are traits that I am looking for in dancers. I am looking for 5 dancers who would be interested and able to work with creating a focused and safe environment, and to invest fully in this piece.

Elly Wagnild
My piece will focus on emotional illness that can be caused by implementing Freud’s theory of the id, ego, and superego. Examples of these diseases are eating disorders, depression, or addictions. My piece requires three dancers, each portraying the id, ego, or superego. Together these dancers will depict an unbalanced relationship between the three personas through movement.

C – Dancing w. Faculty & Staff (in place of Rhythm Project this year)

  • Directed by Sherry Saterstrom and a student core
  • Our version of Dancing w. the Stars!
  • Planning/organizing meetings beginning Thurs. 9/11at 3:45-5:15 and continuing on Tues. 3:00-4:30  and Thurs. 3:45-5:15 through September 30th.
  • Help sessions: September 25; October 16; November 6 during Community time
  • Performance event – dress rehearsal November 20 at 6:00 pm; November 21, 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Companydance Spring Concert Projects (D, E, F, G, H)

  • Co-directed by Heather Klopchin (on sabbatical 2014-15), Anthony Roberts, Janice Roberts
  • Companydance Spring Concert pieces rehearse the entire year and have additional weeknight and weekend rehearsals beginning the week of 4/20/2015 and running through the Companydance Spring Concert performances on April 30, May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Performances / Events
    • First Glimpse – Friday, October 3, 4:00 p.m.
    • Companydance Spring Concert – April 30, May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m.
    • Additional showing opportunities are possible throughout the year and will be planned in consultation with cast members.

D – Anthony Roberts’ Project

  • Directed by Anthony Roberts
  • Initial Theme: The Danger of a Single Story.
  • Together, we will create and compose movement and words, drawing upon our individual and experiences, as well as the narratives of others to develop the theme and content of our dance.
  • I invite participants of any gender who are interested in contributing to the iterative processes of creating, experiencing, editing, and performing; who are interested in moving/speaking, sensing/sharing, feeling/expressing alone and in community.
  • Regular weekly rehearsal schedule beginning Monday, 9/15 and continuing through the April/May performances: Monday & Wednesday 3:45-5:45 p.m.
  • During January, students on campus will rehearse one day each week.

E – Janice Roberts’ Project

  • Directed by Janice Roberts
  • My project idea is to bring an historical photo to life.  We will use creative writing and movement invention as tools to begin our work together.  Looking for dancers of any gender who are interested in writing creatively and improvising to generate movement material.
  • Regular weekly rehearsal schedule beginning Wednesday, 9/17 and continuing through the May performances: Monday and Wednesday: 3:45-4:45 p.m.

F – Sherry Saterstrom’s Project

  • Directed by Sherry Saterstrom
  • “Looking for a Lift” is a piece for 5 dancers (2 men and 3 women) that blends basic movement from the Lindy Hop,  a social dance form from the early 20th century, Contact Improvisation and Sherry’s rhythmic movement sensibilities. The music is a mixture of blues and various jazz pieces of the early 20th century. Dancers should have some experience w. social dance partnering, be comfortable w. being upside down and gently thrown about. Contact Improvisation experience is desirable, but not required.
  • Rehearsal schedule beginning Tuesday, 9/25: Tuesday: 4:15-5:00 p.m. and Thursday: 5:00-5:45 p.m. in September; Beginning in October rehearsal Tuesday 3:00-5:00 and Thursday 3:45-5:45.

G – Guest Artist Karla Grotting Project 1 (Maiden)

  • Directed by Karla Grotting
  • “Maiden” is a dance work for 3 women and 3 men. It is set to a Finnish and Scandinavian folk rock score that explores the shifting dynamics and social structures and expectations in friendships/relationships as young people are “growing up”.  I’m looking for students with strong, rhythmic understanding, physically grounded, joyful and athletic dancers open to a blending of modern and jazz aesthetics and concepts, who are also willing to experiment with periods of structured improvisation within the work.
  • Requirements: enrollment in Karla Grotting’s Modern/Jazz 2 class is preferred.
  • Regular weekly rehearsal schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and some Fridays beginning on 10/20/14 through Dec 10, 3:45-5:45pm.
  • April/May performances: Monday/Wednesday/Friday  3:45-5:45 p.m.
  • Not planning to rehearse in January.

H – Guest Artist Karla Grotting Project 2 (Walk This Way)

  • Directed by Karla Grotting
  • “Walk This Way” is a dance for 5-6 dancers, any gender, that plays with the structures in classic jazz music, while dancers explore the feelings, inspirations and identity in jazz improvisation.  We’ll deal with the question of what it means to play or dance “in a jazz way” and to bring a jazz musician’s sensibilities to our dancing.  Dancers with a strong rhythmic sensibility, strong jazz attack, who use a wide variety of qualities and dynamics and are willing to explore short moments of structured improvisation within rehearsal and performance.
  • Requirements: enrollment in Karla Grotting’s Modern/Jazz 2 class preferred.
  • Regular weekly rehearsal schedule on Mon, Wed and some Fridays beginning Feb 9, 2015 and continuing through the April/May performances: Monday & Wednesday 3:45-5:45 p.m.
  • Not planning to rehearse in January.

Companydance Rehearsal Schedule Conflicts

Below is the list of Companydance rehearsal schedule conflicts. Obviously, you are able to participate in only one of the pieces/projects with overlapping schedules. It is imperative that you are familiar with these conflicts when selecting the projects you would like to participate in. You are encouraged to numerically prioritize your choices whenever possible to enable the faculty to be as fully aware of your selection preferences as possible. If you do not have a preference, you can indicate this by giving two or more projects the same numeric priority. Please keep in mind that your selection preference is one of several factors influencing your casting in Companydance.

  • Overlapping MW rehearsal schedules: Anthony, Janice, Karla (guest artist)
  • Overlapping TTH rehearsal schedules: First Year Project, Sherry (Dancing w/ Faculty & Staff & Companydance Project), Veselica

Service Hours

In the dance community we need to help and support each other as we create and present dance. This is true as well for the St. Olaf Dance Community. There are various performances, special events, and workshops held during the year in which we need help and support. Without your help we would not be able to provide all the exciting events in dance. We are requiring these service hours of all members of Companydance and Veselica. Read Companydance Service Hours.


Now…if you have finished reading all that, you are ready to fill out the audition form.

  1. You will need to be logged into your St. Olaf email account to open the form.
  2. Be sure to click “submit” at the bottom of the form after you have filled it out.
  3. After clicking “submit”, you may still check and edit your responses by scrolling up to the top of the form and clicking on Edit your response.
  4. Once you leave or close the form window, you cannot make additional changes.
  5. If you have difficulty completing the form, please contact Anthony Roberts and/or Gwen Daniels.
  6. Form due: Sunday, September 7, 2014