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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

From musical theatre to dance theatre, senior faces the final curtain

Behind a vibrantly colored background, dancers performed in contemporary and cultural styles inspired by abstract ideas. The Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre performance began with senior Gavin Tanner standing and singing “My Way” by Jacques Revaux as the rest of the dancers laid at his feet.

“I’m a musical theatre major. And I’m minoring in dance right now,” Tanner said. “I auditioned at the beginning of the year for all the dance concerts. And so we had one last semester, which was Move on Litwin, in Heskett Center, it’s a small little stage. But this was my first time doing a dance concert on Wilner stage, which it’s a lot bigger.”

Musical theatre, like traditional theatre, tells a story through acting and careful production, but it also includes singing and dancing. 

While Tanner’s singing and acting prowess was displayed as he played Peter in “Peter and the Starcatcher” this March, his performance of “Hey! How are you today?” and “Full-Throated and Unsparingly” at Litwin in October was his first dance focused performance. 

As part of The Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre he danced in “Respite,” but despite this being his first year auditioning for dance, he said being part of musical theatre benefited him.

“I was Mike in ‘A Chorus Line,’ so I got to do that last semester as well. And that kind of prepped me for this dance concert just because ‘A Chorus Line’ has a lot of dancing,” Tanner said.

Tanner has many other performances to his name as part of Wichita State, including participation in the Senior Capstone Celebration in December, and is the president of the Wichita Musical Theatre Company. 

“Before coming to college, I just thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get here. I’ll do some show. And then I’ll immediately be good.’ But after the first couple of years, I realized that it’s just a day-to-day process and that nothing happens overnight,” Tanner said. “So comparing myself now to like last month, you won’t see any change, but comparing myself now from my freshman year, I can see how far I’ve come, which has been really nice.”

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About the Contributors
Lydia Steeby
Lydia Steeby, Reporter
Lydia Steeby is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. She's lived in Wichita her whole life and loves to be outside. A freshman, she is an undecided major exploring different career paths involving writing. Steeby also enjoys reading, playing the trumpet and making art.
Monique Bever
Monique Bever, Reporter
Monique Bever is a first-year reporter and photographer. She is a freshman majoring in philosophy. Monique has lived in Wichita for most of her life. She loves film, fashion, and her cat.

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