The Department of Dance at Hope College will present Dance 43/”Open Stage” on Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, and Thursday-Saturday, March 9-11, at 7:30 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

Dance 43/”Open Stage” will feature choreography by guest artists William Crowley and Sharon Wong, and faculty members Crystal Frazier, Linda Graham, Steven Iannacone, Julie Powell and Angie Yetzke. A total of 47 students will perform in works ranging in style from contemporary and contemporary ballet to jazz, with an additional 20-plus students working on technical and costume crews. Lighting and set designs have been created by Erik Alberg and costumes by Darlene K. Veenstra and Hope student Katrina Dykstra.

This year’s concert is based on the theme of “open stage.” According to faculty member Angie Yetzke, choreographers were challenged to create their works with this theme in mind to bring to life the “bare-bones grit and charm” of the historic Knickerbocker Theatre. Without the traditional wings and curtains to mask behind-the-scenes preparations, viewers will experience the “Knick” in its purest form.

Guest artist William Crowley and faculty member Steven Iannacone present two separate but intertwined works, “Ghostlight” (Crowley) and “…ghostlight…” (Iannacone). Crowley states, “According to theatre lore, a ghost light is left on in the theatre at night to invite benevolent spirits in and keep mischievous spirits at bay.” Iannacone created his work in response to Crowley’s, incorporating additional ideas such as Henri Bergson’s 1896 book Matière et mémoire (“Matter and Memory”). Also sharing inspiration are faculty members Linda Graham and Julie Powell, who paired their works using common elements with unique creative intentions. One of those shared elements is musical accompaniment of classical guitar, played live for the second weekend by Grand Rapids-based musician Jeremy Verwys.

Three works on this year’s concert are in the jazz genre. Guest artist Sharon Wong’s “In Plain Sight” explores the transfer of hope through intentionality and awareness in daily travel.  Crystal Frazier fuses jazz with hip hop and Afro-modern to investigate the Seven Deadly Sins against the backdrop of Proverbs 28:13. Angie Yetzke’s “Under a Blu Sun” highlights four of the signature elements of authentic jazz dance: rhythm, improvisation, call and response, and human connection.

Individual tickets for the concert are $10 for regular admission, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets are available online at as well as at the ticket office in the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).  The ticket office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

The opening-night performance will be preceded by the now annual “Friends of Dance” event on Friday, March 3, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at City Vu. According to Matthew Farmer, chair of the Department of Dance, the “Friends of Dance” event will be “a chance to meet old friends, reconnect with faculty and alumni, hear about current dance happenings, and simply celebrate the spirit, joy and community that is the Hope College Dance Department. Whether you are a Hope Dance alum, parent of a past or current student, or a community member, please join us for a night of casual conversation, friendly reconnecting and general celebration prior to the opening night performance.” Guests will be invited to learn more about the Department of Dance’s “International Dance Fund.” Launched in 2016, the “International Dance Fund” ensures equal opportunity for future students to perform internationally. Farmer hopes to turn the fund into a fully funded endowment, beginning with a goal of $15,000 for 2017. The “Friends in Dance” event is free. Those interested in attending should RSVP by Friday, Feb. 24, to Stephanie Brumels at 616.395.7700 or

City Vu is located at 61 E. 7th St., at College Avenue. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.