Dance groups build TriCo arts community

Tri-College dance teams Rhythm n Motion and Mayuri performed brief selections of their repertoires near the conclusion of last weekend’s Kitao Fall Arts Festival.  The groups presented three songs, which spanned African diaspora, classical Indian, and Western styles in Upper Tarble.

The groups, both student-run, perform locally and are open to members of the Tri-College community.  RnM, which was founded at Swarthmore College, specifically focuses on music and choreography from the African diaspora, while Bryn Mawr’s Mayuri performs in an Indian fusion style.

Though it only featured a subsection of the teams’ routines, RnM member and Kitao Student Groups Coordinator Sarah Branch ’17 saw the dance recital to be a success.  

“As much as the Fall Arts Festival is about celebrating the arts generally, it’s also about supporting other artists,” she said to a crowd composed mainly of dancers.  “So here we are, supporting each other, in the TriCo.”

Bryn Mawr College sophomore and Mayuri Treasurer Sanjana Sen was similarly pleased, noting that she enjoys dancing with RnM.  She said, “It was really nice to have other dance teams come out and support each other.”

Mayuri Co-President Mira Karan added that the performance was an opportunity to build a stronger Tri-College presence, and is among other events the group will dance in at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges.

To prepare, both Mayuri and RnM selected routines that they had worked through before and that they felt would be interesting to the audience.  Karan believed that the former’s piece, which was choreographed by the entire team, was representative of the group’s different styles.

“We picked this one because we thought it was on the shorter side and upbeat, and gave a pretty good idea of the types of dance styles that we do in Mayuri,” she said.

Branch invited the teams as part of Swarthmore’s first Fall Arts Festival, which she helped to organize.  

“I knew that I wanted RnM to perform, and then, we wanted to see if we could get the TriCo involved,” she said, “So, then, I contacted Mayuri, and they were super down.”

In addition to the dance performances, the festival boasted visual art, theater, improv, and a cappella or “every art form represented on campus in student groups,” according to Branch.

Kitao organizers decided on performers and groups, reserved spaces, and advertised the schedule around campus.  

Branch explained her role: “For the past six months … I’ve just been emailing student groups and trying to get them to the same place.  It started on Friday, and the last event [was] at four [on Sunday].”

Both groups will perform throughout the semester at Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr Colleges. Additionally, Mayuri plans on performing at Villanova University two times at their Indian Students Association’s invitation.

Jacob Demree

Jacob is a freshman from Mount Laurel, NJ, who has loved reading ever since reading Bob Books and writing ever since scribbling notes to his parents and siblings. Trying to see if a quadruple major is possible, he spends his time searching for endnotes, reducing margin sizes, and, of course, reading The Daily Gazette. When he’s not doing any of these things, he enjoys reading non-required materials (and not annotating them), playing guitar, gangsa, piano, or melodica, helping out social justice efforts on campus, and hanging out with friends and family at museums and Sharples. He plans to start planning his program of study before the end of his sophomore year.

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