Terpsichore Showcases Range in Dynamic Spring Performance

This past Saturday, the student dance collective Terpsichore held its Spring concert to showcase the work it has done this semester. The group, named after the Greek muse of dance, consists of about forty dancers of varying levels of experience. The show was equally accessible to the audience members as it was for dancers; there was something for everyone to enjoy, no matter how familiar they were with contemporary dance. The nine pieces performed ranged from calm and relaxing to dark and thought provoking, giving variety to the types of stories and styles the groups was able to showcase. The show was also choreographed entirely by students, including Ella Small ’19, Iris Liao ’22, Lucy Jones ’20, Gwyneth Fletcher ’22, Maggie Zoz ’19, Adriana Knight ’21, Jessica Yang ’21, Omar Saleh ’22, and Francesca Rothell ’21.  

Nine dancers walked onto the LPAC main stage and opened the show with a number choreographed by Small set to a mashup of familiar pop songs. They were wearing uniform outfits — a pair of denim shorts and a button up shirt — but it looked as though the items came straight from the dancers’ closets. There were times when the horde of dancers looked messy and chaotic, and it was hard to choose which corner of the stage to pay attention to. This wasn’t distracting though; if anything, the informal costumes and disarray on stage added to the authenticity and fun of student-led groups. This theme remained throughout the show, as dancers in different colored t-shirts and all-black outfits swept across the stage from one number to the next.

Large group pieces were interspersed with smaller duets and trios, such as the trio entitled “Hide,” choreographed by Jones. The piece featured Jones, Rothell, and Liz Lanphear ’19. Performed to the song “Hide” by FKA Twigs, Jones asked viewers to decide for themselves if the contemporary dance was about “the three fates or the witches from the Scottish play?”

Later on in the show, a contemporary duet entitled “Trust Fall,” took the stage. The piece was choreographed by Knight, and featured Knight and Hannah Watkins ’21. The two were dressed in all white, and Knight wore a blindfold as Watkins led her around the stage to the song, “Unsteady,” by X Ambassadors.

Knight described the piece in the program as, “an exercise in trust, dedicated to the people who catch me when I fall.”

Other highlights included a relaxing and whimsical piece entitled “Paper Airplanes,” which was choreographed by Liao. The program explained that it was “center[ed] around the themes of memories of childhood, and the bittersweet knowledge that though we can think of them, we can never return to them.”

While the show did not have a formal intermission, Terpsichore took a moment in the middle of their show to call attention to the recent Voices and The Phoenix coverage of past misconduct in Phi Psi. Representatives of the group offered solidarity with student activists and journalists and stressed the importance of the “transformative power of art.”

The dance number that followed this speech, entitled “Brink” and choreographed by Zoz, featured a number of couples dancing together to tell, “a story of nostalgia, missed connection, and love.”

The dancers closed the show with a dramatic number to the song “River” by Bishop Briggs and choreographed by Terpsichore president, Rothell. The dance ended in a flurry of flashing lights and a synchronized drop that left Jones standing in the center of the stage before everything went dark.

Jones, both a member of the group as well as the Events Coordinator, commented on her experience with the dance collective.

“Terpsichore has really grown since I’ve been abroad and it’s really exciting to have so many dancers and pieces, not to mention our first solo show in a couple of years. I really appreciate the variety of styles and points of view that we get to express through our individual pieces. The show was a huge success for us.”

Before honoring graduating seniors, the dancers performed a portion of the iconic “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” scene from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” What started as two couples grew into many as the stage became crowded with dancers celebrating the end of a successful show. Members of the audience stood and clapped along to the music, caught up in the nostalgia of the classic 80s dance sequence.

Rothell reflected on the show and said, “Each of these dancers and choreographers have dedicated so much of their time this semester, rehearsing every weekend, and it really showed. Thank you LPAC staff for helping us put this together and thank you everyone who came to support us!”

Elisabeth Miller

Elisabeth Miller '21 is a double major in English and history. Her three talking points are podcasts, Mad Men, and Taylor Swift's lyrical genius.

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