Arts & Culture / Mosaic / November 8, 2017

Terp reflects on term in ‘Mirrors’

Junior Grace Parham and freshman Clio McCormick perform during their first dress rehearsal for their upcoming show on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11. (Dan Perez/TKS)

Junior and President of Terpsichore Dance Collective Emily Hagerott describes her choreographed piece as a gorgeous arrangement with an ‘undertone of strings.’ She has worked with her dancers to create movement that is contemporary and lyrical but also has a dark side to it. She and other members of Terp will see months of preparation come to fruition at their upcoming recitals. The performances will take place Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Harbach Theatre.

Hagerott feels that the student-run club encourages collaboration in a way that may not be achievable when learning from an authority figure.

“I think when you have students choreographing for students you can explore more ideas. Professors and teachers kind of already have movements they gravitate towards but students are still figuring that out so you get to kind of watch them evolve,” she said. “It’s much more of a give and take. Your dancers sometimes give suggestions and are willing to try things that you haven’t thought of.”

Senior and Vice President of Terp Elise Goita has been involved in the club since the Fall Term of her freshman year. She feels that, while there is always a variety among the types of dances performed, this year’s seemed to follow one of two overall moods.

“There’s this interesting dichotomy between this breathtakingly beautiful, life-changing, meaningful dance style and expression,” Goita said. “And then on the flip side we have this raw, baring, fierce sensuality that is really evident in the dancers’ motives.”

She noted that the emotional quality in this year’s series of dances is much fiercer and intense than in previous years. Also, unlike previous years, members of Terp were faced with the added challenge of often having to practice without mirrors due to the Aux Gym being shut down.

Goita noted that Terp members were not told when the Aux Gym would be closing, and that they did not know until they attempted to enter and found it locked. Goita had to persuade Campus Safety to let them in to gather their things that had been left in the gym prior to it being shut down. Goita and other members have had to adapt to practicing in the field house and creating dances without a vital aspect of dance.

“In terms of athleticism, mirrors are akin to a baseball field. You need them to be able to perform well, to even know where you’re going,” she said. “You can’t run to first base or to second if you can’t see where you’re going.”

For sophomore Cara Chang the struggle of creating performances without mirrors has been best represented through titling this performance “Mirrors.” Despite this obstacle, Chang feels that this term has been successful for Terp. She noted that holding auditions directly after the Carnival of Clubs brought in a large number of freshmen and new faces. By welcoming new faces, Chang and other members strive to retain a sense of individuality within the group performance.

“I think every body moves differently. I know one thing that choreographers say is that ‘I’m not looking for skill, I’m looking for movement quality,’” Chang said.” And that is more intrinsic so everyone brings their own dance experience, or the way that their body moves, even if they don’t have dance experience, to whatever piece they’re in.”

Sam Jacobson, Co-Mosaic Editor
Sam Jacobson is a junior majoring in philosophy and potentially minoring in creative writing or psychology. She started volunteer writing during spring term of her freshman year, and worked as a staff writer during her sophomore year.

Tags:  aux gym collective dance mirrors performance terp. terpsichore dance collective

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