By Faith Jarrell
Student Life Editor
The Department of Theatre and Dance held Dancescape, the annual dancing showcase, this past Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2 in the Alonzo G. and Virginia Decker Theatre. The showcase featured students from varying fields of study, and gave them a chance to perform.
This year was the stage manager and Elm staff writer freshman Jessica Kelso’s first Dancescape, which she described as “really cool.”
“It’s not something I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve never seen that in-depth of lights, sound, dancers, costumes, and that sort of performance. I had shows from my local dance studio, but it wasn’t like this, and I wasn’t involved in the process of making it happen, I was just a body on stage,” Kelso said. “It’s also really great to see the contrast from our first showing in the JFC studio on Oct. 28 to this [final product].”
The dancers included junior Rachel Beall, sophomore Lillian Elgayar, junior Marcelina Lewis, sophomore Akshara Oruganti, staff member Lindsay Pass ‘22, Elm web editor sophomore Mikayla Silcox, freshman Kaialana Follet, Elm staff writer freshman Evie Kaye, sophomore Hannah Pacholok, freshman Kaelynn Bellamy, junior Maggie Hemond, junior Victoria Baker, sophomore Kyaran Balin-Brooks, sophomore Klara Pecher, junior Antavia Wilson, sophomore Ella Kozlowski, and junior Megan Somers.
The choreographers for Dancescape were mostly made up of students, including junior Vani Chauhan, Pacholok, Baker, sophomore Lauren Paules, Pecher, and Wilson. The final performance was choreographed by guest artist Rose Xinran Qi, who will be teaching a class in Chinese contemporary dance during the spring 2024 semester.
Dancescape featured seven different pieces, split by an intermission after the fourth piece. The first piece, entitled “Boundless,” was choreographed by Chauhan and featured six dancers performing to upbeat Indian songs while wearing outfits that resembled that of fashion found in India. The last piece, entitled “Nebulous,” was “inspired to understand the spontaneous life of nature from the great Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi,” according to the program. Senior Grace Hazlehurst, who attended the opening night performance of Dancescape, found the cultural aspect of the show fascinating.
“I was really glad that they incorporated ethnic dances, it was nice to see that representation. I wish they’d had more upbeat routines than lyricals, but I really liked the dances nonetheless,” Hazlehurst said.
While Dancescape turned out well, thanks in part to director and professor of dance Renee Gerardo, the production was not without its problems. For example, Dancescape never managed to find an assistant stage manager, however, this problem was quickly solved.
“It’s interesting [without an assistant stage manager]. We have one of the dancers from the first piece go onto headset for us, so she is kind of our ASM. She just lets me know when people are backstage and when they’re ready to go because she’s only in the one piece. For the first piece that she is in, we have Klara [Pecher] on the headset, which is nice. Other than that, it’s actually pretty smooth,” Kelso said.
Photo courtesy of the Department of Theatre and Dance
Photo Caption: The show’s poster includes photo of Vani Chauhan at a former Dancescape performance.