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Arts and Entertainment

MSU-West Plains Hosts Two Guest Dance Companies

(Photo courtesy Inertia Dance Company)

Missouri State University-West Plains will host two special dances performances this weekend and next at the West Plains Civic Center Theater.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet from Columbia, MO is a professional dance company bringing creative, athletic, high-quality art to any stage it graces.  They'll perform a concert sponsored by Missouri State University-West Plains at the West Plains Civic Center Saturday April 9th at 7:00pm. Dancers with this non-profit troupe are known for their charitable work with special needs children and others across the state—but for this performance, says MSU-WP Theater and Events Coordinator, their goal is simply to “wow the audience, to impress," with their unique fusion of hip-hop, modern, traditional ballet and contemporary dance.  General admission is $10; students with Bearpass admitted free. There will be a reception where you can meet the dancers at 6:00pm, followed by the performance at 7.  Jennifer Moore says they actually moved the reception from the Magnolia Room to the upper lobby Mezzanine level just outside the Magnolia, in order to accommodate more people.  Tickets are available at the Civic Center box office, 110 St. Louis St. in West Plains, or by calling 417-256-8087.

The next weekend, Missouri State University-West Plains presents MSU's own Inertia Dance Company from the Springfield campus in a concert called  “Undeniable Victories”, Saturday April 16 at 7:00pm in the West Plains Civic Center Theater.   It’s FREE and open to the community.  Jennifer says "this is going to be extrordinary. We're hoping that people who have never even seen a dance performance will come out and see this."

This deeply personal, poignant dance routine was choreographed based entirely on the challenges facing several first-generation college students from MSU-West Plains, who met with the dance troupe via Skype weeks in advance to share their individual stories.  "I was there to sit in on all five of those video interviews," says Jennifer Moore, "and there was not a dry eye on either side of the video calls!"

One of the participants whose story has been choreographed for this dance concert is an Iraq War veteran with PTSD, and according to Jennifer, "one group of people who has been very excited about this is the veterans' community, since one of their own, who survived a pretty traumatizing ordeal in Iraq, has come forth to share his story in the hope that it will help other veterans." Another participant is Colin Crawford, a student in a motorized wheelchair who Jennifer Moore says "has a pretty significant physical disability--and yet he's making it happen. He's going to graduate and he has an amazing future."   Then there's a girl who, says Jennifer, "grew up in an unsafe part of St. Louis and aspired for more, and really challenged the status quo and is about to receive her diploma."

The Inertia Dance troupe will honor these and other barrier-breaking area college students by setting their struggles, dreams and triumphs to dance in an emotional, unique performance that promises to tug at the heartstrings of anyone in the audience. The dance company, based on the MSU Springfield campus, is known for its public service initiatives that enhance learning through movement and dance. Again, this performance in West Plains on April 16 is FREE and open to the public.  For more information see or call (417) 255-7966.