Arts & Culture / Dance / Mosaic / March 6, 2008

Terpsichore . . . forget me not

Ending the month of love, the campus was entertained by Terpsichore’s dance “Forget Me Not,” presented on Feb. 29 and Mar. 1 in the Auxilliary Gym. The presentation was a compilation of 13 dance pieces, ranging from the romantic to the burlesque to the lover’s quarrel. “Regarde///Quotidian” was a particularly well-choreographed piece by Senior M.S. Krenz and will be heading to the American College Dance Festival this year along with the piece “(full)Filled” choreographed by Kim Neer, which started off the night, and featured an aerobic machine on stage.

The house was packed both evenings, receiving exemplary reviews. Junior Jill Bergantz found “Forget Me Not”, “indescribable…[and] enjoyed her classmates taking off clothes on stage.” Sophomore Zack Lazar said each terp show is “surprisingly good every time, each time I like it a lot more.”

Senior Brian King said “the dance concerts are [his] favorite thing at Knox.”

Students choreographed all the pieces. Tryouts for the choreographed pieces were held at the beginning of the term.

“So far we’ve had it so everyone gets in because pieces have differing levels of difficulty,” said first-time choreographer and past dancer, junior Taramaria Hood. “Those applying have grown in numbers.”

She suggested there might be a need to make understudies. Hood encourages everyone to try out, as she said “it’s fun [and] a good stress reliever.”

There’s something for everyone as Terpsichore includes “everything from ballet to modern [dance] to hip-hop. It’s not so much technical dance as interpretation, you don’t need extensive dance skills,” said Hood.

Dancers practiced for about one to two hours a week, and had three “showings” where “all the choreographers and dancers get together to show their progress,” said Hood.

Hood sees Terpsichore as a great opportunity, asking “When else are you given a chance to choreograph?”

Her piece included nylon ropes that bound the dancers together as they pulled and danced with it. This idea was influenced by her sculpture which also features stretched nylon, where the “concept of stretching out something, binding something, so it’s got this sense of wanting to be released,” she said.

Hood worked out the first part of her performance before tryouts, and then worked with her selected dancers to work out more concrete movements.

“Most of it was directed,” said Hood, but she did leave room for dancer improvisation. Unlike the other dances, which were heavily tied to counts, Hood chose to choreograph “in terms of their body movement.”

Sophomore Kate Cochran, choreographer of “I’m So Tired-(Heavy)” used a similar approach to choreographing. She had an initial idea of what she wanted the dancers to do, which became more defined after she had her cast.

The roles of the women were more tightly choreographed than soloist junior Brain Humpherys, said Cochran, because she understood that male bodies work differently than females, and trusting him as an experienced dancer, gave him more leeway with his movements so they would be more natural.

While Hood was challenged by the new leadership role as well as the flexibility demanded of her relating to preparation and space issues, she found the most difficult part about choreographing was scheduling. Luckily, “all the dancers were cooperative…that was nice,” she said.

Hood had a very positive experience choreographing.

“After all that, it seems like it goes so fast…everyone is so exhilarated coming off the floor,” said Hood.

When Hood first tried out for a piece she “was nervous it would be an elite thing,” but instead found it “very welcoming…very supportive [and] you don’t need previous dance experience.”

Auditions for next term’s dance were postponed from yesterday, and will be held following spring break.

Klayr Valentine-Fossum

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