"On the Move" Mixes Dance and Theater

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On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Department of Theater, Film, and Media Studies opened its spring semester dance concert, On the Move: Dance for the 21st Century, to a packed house in the Bruce Davis Theater. Conceived, directed, and with original choreography by Assistant Professor  of Dance/Movement and Performance Leonard Cruz, the concert featured performances by students, faculty, and even some professors’ children; Xander Patterson, Emily Musgrove, and Giorgia Patterson charmed the audience with their enthusiasm and expressivity.

The performances centered around the concept of people from different racial and class backgrounds interacting at a subway station in New York City. In line with this setting, the concert incorporated many different styles of dance and movement and encompassed several themes within the dances. The theme of women’s empowerment was evident in a women’s piece that opened with a monologue expertly performed by sophomore Emma Kaufman about a woman who takes control of her body and future by becoming a sex worker, and a piece titled “This Morning” focused on the lives of and differences between transgendered women and cross-dressers.

“It went a lot deeper than I thought it would,” said sophomore Laura Duesterhaus, “the pieces were beautiful and diverse.”

Students were able to get involved in many other ways besides performing; the lighting for the concert was primarily designed by Lighting Designer/Technical Director David Groupé and Assistant Lighting Designer and senior Che’la Jernigan, but students in Groupé’s class TFMS 374: Lighting Design were able to design the lighting for one piece each.

Sophomore Celia Rector, one of the dance captains, wrote and performed a monologue about the trap of addiction as a “junkie” character, as well as several dance pieces.

“It was really fun! I like getting to play characters that are not what people would normally assume that I would play,” Rector said.

For those who missed On the Move but still want to see talented St. Mary’s dancers, the Dance Club will be having its second concert of the year later this semester, and it is sure to be another evening of wonderful performances.

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