Dance Show premieres in the Wish Theater
JULIE THOMPSON - STAFF WRITER
The closest many of us come to expressing ourselves with
our bodies is shaking our collective boody to the sounds of the latest
pop beat on any given Saturday night. For some talented students on the
Bowdoin campus, however, this form of personal expression takes a role
in daily life through classes offered by the department of theater and
dance. In the immensely popular annual December Studio Show, dance students
will have the chance to show off their moves to packed houses on Thursday
and Friday nights. This year the show will make use of the newly-created
Wish Theater, providing many opportunities for creative use of lighting
and space and giving dancers unique challenges that come with performing
in the round.
The show's relocation to Wish will allow for a modified presentation
of the dances, adapting it to the innovative space being used. June Vail,
chair of the dance department, is excited to be making use of the new
theater for the show: "This is our first opportunity to use the flexible
space in the new Wish Theater, so we've chosen to present multiple, more
intimate shows rather than a larger one in Pickard Theater."
Of the show itself, Vail spoke of its place in campus life:
"The December Studio Show has a long history at Bowdoin. It's an informal
show in which dances and works in progress from classes, independent studies
and co-curricular groups can be presented with a little background introduction
from the department…There's a very wide spectrum of dance and music styles
represented, from contemporary dance to tap, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, step,
and zany dance/theater."
The dances are a sampling of student work from a wide variety
of ability levels as well as genres, giving the audience an idea of how
dancers develop skills and learn movement. The show opens up with a dance
by the members of Dance 312, entitled "Glass" and choreographed by Paul
Sarvis of the dance department and the dancers. Set to ethereal music
by American composer Lou Harrison, the dancers in "Glass" explore, as
the program states, "a land of contrasts where time is subjective, and
their physical dramas are alternately grand and subtle." A highlight of
the 7 p.m. show comes next, with sophomore Julie Dawson's original work
"Calling," a solo piece set to a solid beat by the group Dead Can Dance.
In the 9 p.m. show, an interpretation of the wonderful song "Walking in
Memphis" by Marc Cohn is given through the medium of ballet.
The diversity in dances can be seen in the a cappella number
performed by the Tap Club, who truly take advantage of the space inside
Wish through the use of every level of the theater. An upbeat piece for
the choreography class, Making Dances uses folding chairs in every conceivable
fashion in "Rusted Chairs," to the tune of the always popular "Send Me
On My Way" by Rusted Root. The next dance, entitled "Rush" and choreographed
by Gwyneth Jones and the dancers of Dance 212, is a high-energy and challenging
number set to highly rhythmic music.
The student group VAGUE is also making its mark at the Studio
Show with its to-be-envied moves set to Jordan Knight's "Give It To You,"
and, in their first appearance, the Bowdoin step team Unity will take
the stage. Finally, Dance 112 presents a spirited multimedia piece that
will have the audience wanting to skip home wrapped in tablecloths…you'll
have to get the details on that one yourself.
In short, the December Studio Show is a many-dimensioned
work of myriad styles and forms. Performers such as Aurelia Hall '02 are
excited to be presenting the culmination of their studies and hard work:
"Dancing in an experimental theater forces you to stretch your imagination;
there are so many options in Wish! I especially love how the tap group
takes advantage of the various levels of the theater.
"I'm performing with VAGUE…This semester VAGUE has focused
most of its attention on the mainstream Pop and R&B music/dance world
of entertainment. The show as a whole is a highlight!" At last report
tickets were sold out for the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows this Thursday and
Friday, but scalpers have been known to lurk around the theater. The Studio
Show promises to be a great way to end the semester as well as a fun way
to pick up some new moves for those Saturday nights.
Dancers rehearse for
this weekend's show.
(Kate Maselli/ Bowdoin Orient)