Dance majors wrap up semester with diverse performances

The stamp of heavy combat boots opened the Fall Dance Showcase last Friday as the Far Rock step group marched across the slick black floor of the Peggy Theater in Thomas Hunter Hall.

With a semester’s worth of practice and careful planning, each piece in the showcase was performed, choreographed and designed for light and sound by dance students. The choreographers included students Manuela Agudelo, Eumaya Bartee, Vienna Cohn, Sarah Days, Nam Hui Kim, Helen Menashe, Chelsea Polanco, Melody Rivera, with a closing performance, Drumline, choreographed by guest choreographer Larry Keigwin.

Broken up into two programs of eight pieces, the fall showcase cycled throughout the weekend and included interpretive dance, hip-hop and other blended forms of dance styles. Many of the dances used a mixture of songs, ranging The Beatles’ and “Twist and Shout” to Kanye West’s and Jay Z’s “Otis.”

Brianna Gonzales, 21, a junior, attended the showcase last fall as well and was excited to return to the Peggy Theater in Thomas Hunter Hall. “It was all so beautifully done by the students, it was such an amazing artistic effort, so I was excited to see themes that they have this year and the dances that the students made themselves,” she said.

Nicole Alvarez, 23, a senior, performed in the dance “Beneath an Echo” and choreographed the performance “Behind Our Back,” which had the dancers constantly weaving together and apart from one another in pale blue maxi dresses.

“I love dancing but what truly makes me happy is choreographing, and seeing my piece was the most exciting thing of the whole show,” said Alvarez. “Just being able to see my art come to life on stage — it’s what keeps me going in life.”

Dance students who work the showcase wear multiple hats, going back and forth between performing pieces, changing for the next act, or running off stage left to the work the light control panel, creating artistic light designs for their classmates.

“It’s chaotic, but everyone around is super supportive,” said Ariana Noble, 21, a dancer who performed in “Cuando el Rio Suena” and “Beneath an Echo.” At multiple times throughout her last piece, “Cuando el Rio Suena,” which translates to “when the river sounds,” Noble was the only one to use her voice to accent the piece; she sang a single note, rhythmically, while dancing.

“I think the end is always the best,” Noble said, “because you come out of a performance with such an adrenaline high.”

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