Katherine Clifford ’14 attends the Winter Dance Concert, “Impulse,” presented by the Wesleyan Dance Department.
The Winter Dance Concert, Impulse, took place on December 7 and 8, 2012. It featured works by dance majors Sally Williams ’14, Kim Ladd ’13, Elisa Waugh ’13, Jiovani del Toro Robles ’13, Elle Bayles ’14, and Naya Samuels ’14.
I was struck by the incredible diversity of the pieces: in their range of styles, their themes, and their influences. Winter Dance is choreographed by dance majors, in collaboration with the dancers in each piece [and under the direction of Adjunct Professor of Dance Susan Lourie]. In this way, each piece was shaped by the various contributions and backgrounds of each of the dancers. As a whole, the concert incorporated a wide range of media and interdisciplinary influences through the use of projected images, performed song, breakdancing, and AcroYoga (acrobatic yoga).
How does one sum up movement through words, words that seem so static on the page? Each piece left me with a resounding feeling, reminding me of the power of dance to leave an impact on the audience and to make a statement. I think it will be sufficient to sum up the dance concert by saying a few words about what struck me in each piece. Hopefully, this will be a small testament to the incredible talent and creativity of the choreographers and dancers.
Sally Williams’ piece incorporated projected written word and a kissing motif, in which the dancers made sloppy kissing noises that reminded one of a loving grandmother. On a whole, her piece was interesting, provocative, and had a captivating quality of movement. Kim Ladd’s piece had a strong group dynamic and a circular unity in the composition of the piece. The dancers started and ended in the same pose, serving as a reference point to the beginning of the dance and all that had passed. Elisa Waugh’s dance was interesting in that there were singers performing on stage, providing background music and context to the dance through song. I was captured by the thrilling music in Jiovani del Toro Robles’ piece, which reminded me of the soundtrack of an adventure movie. The dancers’ movements were bold and exciting and matched the music well. The piece even featured breakdance moves by dancer Dat Tien Vu ’15. Elle Bayles’ dance was beautifully composed and the dancers exuded strength and confidence. The dancers’ interactions with each other reminded me of the trust and support that occurs between close friends. Finally, I would characterize Naya Samuels’ dance by the fantastic contact made between the dancers and the great strength and trust required as the dancers lifted each other and supported each other’s weight in poses resembling AcroYoga. The dancing was fluid, with lingering between movements and shifts in weight, making the movements flow together.
As a whole, Winter Dance spoke to the amazing talent in the dance community. Each piece was remarkable in its own way, revealing the potential of dance to say so many things at once.