With a welcomed change of scenery, Terpsichore Dance Collective went above and beyond expectations on Nov. 11 and 12 as they performed an astonishing 19 dances, ranging from slow and emotional to lively and fast-paced.
Whether it was the change from the usual setting of the Memorial or Auxiliary Gym to the more comfortable Harbach Theatre or the 80-plus performers involved, this term’s presentation, “Soles,” filled Harbach to capacity Friday and was three-fourths full Saturday.
“I think it went really well. We did have a few kinks during the dress rehearsal and a few during [Friday’s] show, but overall it went really well. I think this is one of the better shows we’ve had,” production manager senior Brynn Ogilvie said.
Ogilvie noted that this year, “There were more people, definitely. We had over 80 [dancers]. The dance program has actually increased quite a bit. We got a lot of freshmen members who are part of the dance program now and also dance squad, so they were really excited.”
Before the show, dancers were strutting on and off stage improvising dances and performing, acting out scenes such as an epic snowball fight, while in the background the Cherry Street Jazz Combo set the mood for the festive ensemble.
After a line of dancers came on stage and introduced the show in a multitude of languages, the dancing commenced with a piece choreographed by senior Hayley Shueneman, where dancers passionately cavorted to Arcade Fire’s “Intervention,” in which all solos were improvised.
Next was a hip-hop based dance by senior Diana Preshad and junior Kyla Tully with the help of students from Galesburg High School and members of the Boys & Girls Club. Dancers wore sparkly sequin shirts that complimented the lively mood of the dance.
“Warped,” by senior Emma Poland and junior Krista Anne Nordgren made the audience feel warped as dancers moved to the Droogs remix of “Chasing Pirates” by Norah Jones.
“The Umbrella Effect” showed how props can be used to inspire a dance as choreographer junior Alyssa Kennamer had dancers trade off an umbrella while dancing to James Blake’s “Limit to Your Love.” The dancing and the umbrella were fitting to the song.
No interpretation of dance is off-limits, seen in “Endogenous Morphine” choreographed by senior Rachel Clark in which dancers worked up a sweat in a zumba-themed high-energy dance.
“How to Steal a Statue” by senior Kate LaRose featured a simple story about stealing a statue. This quirky piece had dancers inching closer to the statue, raising the confidence to start to touch it, eventually making away with it sneaking off stage.
Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain” paid tribute to those who struggle in abusive relationships in junior Amanda Goslawski’s “love/ struck.” Dancers portrayed the pain of being physically and emotionally abused, with male leads forcing their female counterparts to go where they want and pseudo-abusing them on stage while female dancers struggled with the choice to stay or leave.
The lovingly upbeat dance “Love is Blind” brought in multiple dance styles, including salsa, performed by Ogilvie and senior Jamie White.
In sophomore Stephanie Schudel’s dance, dancers pounded the floor to the beat and worked up the audience with their fluid, exciting dance.
Later, an epic battle took place between pink robots and ninjas. The mood changed as the songs went from “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 1” before the battle, Part 2 of the song during battle, and “In the Morning of the Magicians” post-battle. Do not worry, everything works out fine as the robots joined their conquerors and abandoned their evil ways.
The mood became upbeat as audiences cheered on dancers to Ciara’s “Gimme Dat,” directed by senior Christian Lewis.
Senior Erin McKinstry choreographed “The Wall (Die Mauer)” in response to a year abroad in Berlin, Germany and Barcelona, Spain.
The song “Turtle” by Thomas Newman inspired the next dance, an Irish stepdance involving 14 dancers.
The finale, by Schueneman, encouraged all of the Terp dancers to rejoin on the stage for the final dance, bringing together the array of costumes ranging from shiny shirts, to leotards, to jean shorts to flowing dress. All dancers were barefoot, playing into the title of this term’s Terpsichore Collective, “Soles.”
“Terp has gotten bigger over the course of the years just because of the variety and the different choreographers we have,” Ogilvie said. “They come, and they audition, and they do it, and I think that it was just a big, fun group of people this term.”