By Annie Hart, Reporter
Shenandoah’s dance majors showed their talent in the LUXE: XIII Senior Dance Concert last weekend at Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, in a series of performances choreographed by the senior dance students.
In attendance at the Sunday matinee was a combination of students and community members that filled the auditorium to more than half of the capacity.
The show opened with a piece entitled “Mujeres,” by Christopher Saunders, 22, a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) dance major. Saunders said that he was inspired by “women’s empowerment” when choreographing his piece.
Some seniors performed solo pieces that they choreographed themselves, as well, including senior BFA dance major Natalie Carlile, who titled her piece, “I AM.”
In the first solo performance of the concert, Carlile danced to “Body Love (Part 1 and 2)” by Mary Lambert. Her choreography shed light on how it feels to be an outcast as a woman uncomfortable with her body. Carlile showed her emotional connection to her piece through facial expression throughout her dance.
The intense lighting, flowing costuming, and fog effects also contributed to the audience’s connection to the show, as was shown during the performances of “In The Shadows,” choreographed by senior BFA dance major Emma Shortall, and “Intrinsic Pulse,” choreographed by senior BFA dance major Kelly Hobbs.
Shortall’s piece began with a gathering of women dressed in black circled around a beam of yellow light. Fog floated in from the wings of the stage, giving the performance an ethereal grace without anyone moving a muscle.
Hobbs’s piece featured colored lights in reds, blues, and yellows that showered the stage as a singular dancer came out dressed in white, hip-thrusting and having fun in her bath of light. As more dancers, clad in white, came out, the lights flickered and a strobe pulsed creating a disco effect. Hobbs said she took inspiration for her piece from the Bob Marley quote, “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”
The final dance of the show incorporated all 13 senior dance majors, graduating with either a BFA or a Bachelor of Arts (BA). Choreographed by one of the artistic directors for the concert, Tiffanie Carson, the seniors gave a powerful performance using handheld lights and flowing costumes, bringing the show to a theatrical close.
Overall, LUXE: XIII was a powerful, ethereal concert possessing qualities that made it feel as though I was watching moving art. The senior choreographers and their dancers worked long hours on this concert and it most certainly payed off.