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Fall dance concert successfully showcased student work

On Nov. 19 and 20, The College of Wooster Dance Company performed Stage Door: Fall Dance Concert at Freelander Theater. Over 30 Wooster students came together to create an interesting window into contemporary dance and the artistic passion that comes with it.

Each of the 12 pieces brought something unique to the table and sometimes it worked and sometime it fell short. However, each of the choreographers of this year’s fall dance concert must be credited and congratulated for taking that chance and going out on an artistic limb. Similarly, visiting Associate Professor of Dance and director of the show Alyssa Wilmot should be congratulated for fostering this kind of originality.

Of the 12 pieces, three stood out the strongest.† “Frost,” a piece choreographed by Maria Cox ’12 was the perfect example of using dance to express emotion. Duo Amadi Washington ’14 and Anne Woller ’13 were captivating together. Although they hardly touched until late in the number, one could feel the intended tension radiating between them. The choreography was well-prescribed and well-executed.†† Being the third number in the show, it was an excellent wake up from the more monotonous pieces that came before it.

The pieces before “Frost” were great in terms of technique and choreography, but when it came to performance value they fell a bit flat.

While following “Frost” was a tough task, the dancers in “Eden,” or “Youth: Disrupted” rose to the cause nobly. Choreographed by Adrianna Maxton ’13, “Eden” did an excellent job at telling a story. When it started, it appeared to be more of a piece about nature but soon after it transitioned into a more modern mood in terms of music as well as choreography. The concept was generally brilliant and the choreography was great. I was impressed by the attention to detail, in terms of hand angles and footwork.

In the second half of the show there was a piece called “C.H.A.I.R.” that was throughly entertaining and well crafted.† This piece took the concept of dance to a very different level. The piece was an ode to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” story.† Each of the dancers used their bodies uniquely and they were not dancers but movement actors who helped keep the story going.

The storytelling concept choreographer Owen Reynolds ’11 was going for was easy to ruin; however he and his dancers did a fantastic job at pulling it off. While it is important to recognize that this piece was more for entertainment value as opposed to technique, it was certainly one of the most enjoyable pieces in the entire dance concert.

A few pieces in this concert did fall short, and one of them was “Introspective to Masochism.” While it is important to recognize that one of the dancers was injured before the night of the performance, I took more issue with execution of the concept as opposed to the dancers themselves.

This piece was designed to examine hazing and bullying in society. It was intended to express the vicious cycle of victims of bullies becoming the bullies themselves, and how this affects our world. The music of the piece was just the beat of a metronome. The dancers had cruel words written all over each other and the piece basically consisted of them continuing to write slurs on each others’ bodies.

The piece could have been better if there was just more movement. The intensity of the dancers was definitely there but the movement was so basic it just fell flat. Furthermore, the piece was just too long and the beat of the metronome got to you after a while. I like the potential of the concept and the commitment of the dancers but it was lacking in the choreography department.

Overall, the Fall Dance Concert was very successful. I was throughly impressed with the talent the company had to offer, choreographers and performers alike. I look forward to seeing how the choreographers grow from this experience through what they put together for the Spring Dance Concert.

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