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Dancer shape-shifts her silhouette

Kami Hornak, left, and Dalila Baied will be among the dancers in “Shape Shift,” a student choreography showcase at UNM. (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

Kami Hornak, left, and Dalila Baied will be among the dancers in “Shape Shift,” a student choreography showcase at UNM. (Courtesy of Pat Berrett)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When it came time to choreograph her original piece, dancer Ariel Burge shape-shifted her silhouette onto three soloists.

The University of New Mexico graduate student recorded her own moves, showed the video to the dancers and watched them transpose the choreography onto their own bodies.

“From that I teased out their idiosyncrasies – how they portrayed this movement,” she said.

Burge’s piece is one of several headed for the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance’s “Shape Shift” original student choreography showcase.

A professional audition process sifts the students invited to the six performances. This year 18 made it through the first rounds, Burge said.

“They are choosing what they think is going to be a good show,” she said. “These pieces have to be very well-crafted and rehearsed and ready for performance.”

Burge doesn’t even know if her own piece will be selected. If chosen, it will be performed with live garage bands. It will be set to her own musings about nightmares.

“The feeling is this dreamscape,” she said. “We are presenting fear, mystery and a kind of bizarre awareness.”

Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Burge came to New Mexico from England, where her parents now live. She’s been in Albuquerque a year and is already mulling her post-graduate options.

“I would like to continue to choreograph,” she said. “I’ve been talking about starting a dance film festival. I want to teach dance.”

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