Dancescape draws audience to Decker for moving performance

Washington College Dancescape 2018
Washington College Dancescape 2018

By Carlee Berkenkemper

Elm Staff Writer

A spoken word poem set to soft background music sounded throughout Decker Theatre in Gibson Center for the Arts, stressing the perils of lost connections between individuals and decreasing attention spans due to technology.

The packed theater, however, had their attention fixed on the three dancers commanding the stage, their faces glowing from the shining phone screens held securely in their hands.

This was one of many performances that comprised Dancescape on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1.

Dancescape is an annual production directed by Professor A.T. Moffett, assistant professor of dance, that showcases the choreography and performances of Washington College students. This year’s concert featured guest artists Andrew Matte from First State Ballet Theatre and Broadway performer Benjamin Sterling Cannon, lecturer in dance.

Sophomore William Reid performed in Cannon’s piece “Speaking Joy.”

“I knew when I came here that I wanted to be a dance minor because I love theatre, so I met with A.T. Moffett and she really encouraged me to come out my first time and go for it. I auditioned, and Benjamin said he liked my energy so he asked me to be in his piece,” Reid said.

The show consisted of eight dances, ranging from a solo ballet piece choreographed and performed by Andrew Matte set to classical music by Rachmaninov and Mozart to a tap number entitled “Shiggity Sham.”

Many of the routines had backstories, such as “Resilience,” choreographed by seniors Allison Wilkins and Mackenzie Bosack and performed by sophomores Magdalena Chavez and Elizabeth Lilly and freshman Taylor Kimmey. The dance, as noted in the program, was “inspired by our mothers’ resilience in their battles against breast cancer.”

“Form, Figure, Movement” was choreographed by Moffett and featured four dancers dressed in white who danced to a soundtrack of chiming bells and other nontraditional sounds.

Just as Moffett wore many hats from artistic director to choreographer, multiple performers had more than one role themselves. Senior Caroline Cox choreographed the piece “Autocorrect” and performed in “Body Love.”

“As both a choreographer and dancer this year, I was able to see my own choreography and ideas come to life and immerse myself in learning and performing another student’s choreography,” Cox said.

Dancescape is an opportunity for dancers to meet fellow students also passionate about the art of dance.

“I was in it with a bunch of my friends, and I’m glad because I’ve also met so many other cool people by being in the show,” Reid said.

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