This past Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:30pm, the students in Beloit’s Dance program were given the chance to show off what they’ve been working on this semester in a series of stunning and elaborate performances.
The doors to the Neese Theater were opened early, and audience members shuffled in, having been given their tickets and pamphlets. There was a light buzzing of excitement in the air as the audience waited in anticipation. At around 7:30, the lights dimmed, throwing the theater into almost complete darkness. A moment later a spotlight flicked onto the middle of the stage where, unbeknownst to the audience, our first two performers Emily O’Brien and Serafina Tassi had snuck on.
The performers then launched into the first dance of the night, an energetic flow of motion choreographed by O’Brien to “Dance With Me” by 112. The performances covered a wide range of styles, from Hip Hop, to much more abstract and experimental styles. From there the performances flowed into one another, separated only by brief intermissions and pauses in the music. As an audience member I felt challenged to put together meaning behind the motions.
Some like “Alpenglow Falling”, choreographed by Kelli Badgley, felt dreamlike, with the music and motions coming together to give the whole sequence an otherworldly feel. Others, like “CORPS”, choreographed by Charline Davis-Alicea, tell a story. Her capstone piece seemed to make commentaries on elitism, classism, and racism. One could also interpret the piece in a biblical sense as the dancers moved in an “angelic” fashion incorporating themes of heaven and hell.
The December Dance performance was fantastic. All of the performers did an excellent job, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next!