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The ultimate collaboration

By Marilou Carlin

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance is preparing its most ambitious production of the calendar year, the annual Collage Concert, 8 p.m. Saturday at Hill Auditorium.

Now celebrating its 35th year, this season’s Collage will present 30 different short performances representing all of the performing arts, all of which are performed seamlessly, in rapid succession, without interruption of applause.  Approximately 400 students are involved in the collaborative production, which has been in the planning since September and utilizes not only the breadth of performing talent at SMTD, but a highly skilled team of behind-the-scenes student technicians.

The format of Collage is unique: a series of short performances in a host of styles and genres, all on a darkened stage with a spotlight directing the eye from one number to the next.  A woodwind quartet flows into a scene from musical theatre, which flows into a dance solo.  The final note of one performance virtually overlaps the first note of another, with the surprise of what comes next almost as thrilling as the quality of the student performances. There is one intermission and applause is held until the final act is finished.

“Programmatically, Collage takes the audience through an artistic journey of world music, theatre, and dance spanning from the Renaissance through present day,” said John Pasquale, Assistant Director of Bands and coordinator of this year’s event.

The evening ends with a grand finale, usually featuring an excerpt from a massive orchestral or choral work that incorporates hundreds of performers and closes the event with a powerful display of collaborative talent at its best.

Tickets are available now at the League Ticket Office, 734-764-2538, or online TICKETS.

Marilou Carlin is a writer for the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.