Student dancers showcase semester choreography at Dancescape

By Maegan White

Elm Staff Writer

On Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, the Department of Theatre and Dance hosted their annual performance in the Alonzo G. and Virginia Gent Decker Theatre.

Dancescape is a dance production featuring student performers and choreographers and guest choreographers.

Dance lecturer and Director of the show Renee Gerardo said that Dancescape is intended to give students a platform to perform and expose students to guest artists who work professionally in the field.

“Dancescape is a unique and fantastic space for an artist to make work that can push boundaries in terms of movement and production possibilities,” Gerardo said. “It is a show where all genres of dance can connect in one evening to provide the audience with a visceral experience. I really love seeing how all the students involved in the show work together to make it happen.”

The production started with two duets, including a contemporary lyrical piece choreographed by Caitlyn Creasy ‘20. Senior Adrienne Nolt and sophomore Victoria Baker danced to the song “After Rain” by Dermot Kennedy.

Senior Paleena Amy reconstructed the classical ballet “Dances of the Reed Flutes” from “The Nutcracker” en pointe. Freshman Hannah Pacholok was Amy’s co-performer. Senior Jodi Eren choreographed and performed a solo contemporary ballet piece to the song “Torn” by Nathan Lanier.

Nolt choreographed a post-modern dance to the song “Acapulco” by Martin Rott. The dance was performed by Baker; seniors Faithlin Hunter and Andrea Petersen; sophomore Vani Chauhan; and freshman Klara Pechar.

Petersen, Pecher, and Pacholok performed in the piece “That’s All,” which was choreographed by visiting choreographer Amber Daniels. Petersen served as the rehearsal director.

The performance also included three classical Indian pieces. Senior Sneha VireshwarDixit choreographed and performed “Natarang,” a classic Kathak Indian dance piece. Freshman Akshara Oruganti is classically trained in Bharatanatyam Indian dance and choreographed and performed a solo called “Prabhum Prana Natham.”

Vireshwar-Dixit and Oruganti also choreographed a group dance called “Rangapura Vihara” in the Bharatanatyam Indian dance style. According to Vireshwar-Dixit, they choreographed a group dance to share their culture’s dance and meaning with more people.

“I have been choreographing solos for the past two semesters and I wanted to do a group dance so people could participate in the dance, get a feel of what it’s like, and to understand the meaning behind the different hand movements and costumes,” Vireshwar-Dixit said. “It is fun to share and have other people dancing alongside you.” Amy danced her freshman year on the stage, virtually during COVID-19, and was able to choreograph and star in her dance on stage her final year.

“As an underclassman, Dancescape was a wonderful way to meet students on campus that had the same interest as me,” Amy said. “This year, Dancescape has been a big commitment with my senior thesis and finishing up the semester, but it’s been so worth it. I’m able to participate in types of dance I’ve never done before, thanks to international students.”

Amy was also glad that she could bring her piece to the stage, as it was a vital part of her Christmas season and personal background.

According to Pacholok, her experience with Dancescape was positive and she encouraged more students interested in dancing to get involved, regardless of skill level.

“I went out for Dancescape because I love to dance and enjoy performing. My experience with Dancescape has been great,” Pocholok said. “I am also glad I still have the opportunity to dance while being a college student. Dancescape is a nice artistic outlet and a great way to connect with others in a welcoming environment as it’s open to all skill levels.”

Photo courtesy of WC Theatre and Dance Department

Photo Caption: The final piece of the show was senior Sneha Vireshwar-Dixit and freshman Akshara Oruganti’s group dance “Rangapura Vihara.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *