UM Dance Student Offers Visceral Take on Coral Bleaching

November 02, 2017

MISSOULA – University of Montana junior Katie Conrad will bridge the worlds of dance and science with her new dance piece, “2 Degrees Celsius,” for the School of Theatre & Dance’s production of “Dance Up Close.”

Conrad, a dance major, choreographed “2 Degrees Celsius”  in collaboration with environmental studies freshman Wendell Elliott. It explores the devastating effects of ocean warming on coral. Seven dancers express the movement inherent in coral colonies, as well as the marine life that they support. Conrad seeks to bring awareness to the importance of these diverse ecosystems and the havoc that would result in all marine life should they disappear.

“I was drawn to this issue when I went to the International Wildlife Film Festival last year and saw “Chasing Coral,” Conrad said. “I was inspired by the water and movement and fish. I was also profoundly saddened by the dying coral in the time-lapse sequence of the film.”

“2 Degrees Celsius” will be performed during the School of Theatre & Dance’s annual “Dance Up Close” production at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, in the Masquer Theatre in UM’s Performing Arts and Radio/Television Center.

General admission tickets cost $16, while senior and student tickets cost $14. Admission for children 12 and under is $10. Tickets are available by calling the UMArts Box Office at 406-243-4581 from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or ordering online at The box office also opens one hour before each performance.

For more information call Michele Antonioli, UM dance professor, at 406-214-9766 or email

A complete schedule of UM School of Theatre & Dance productions for the 2017-18 academic year is online at

Contact: Michele Antonioli, UM professor of dance, 406-214-9766,; Erin McDaniel, administrative assistant, UM Theatre & Dance, 406-243-4488,