Spring dance concert this week

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The three pieces of choreography debuted at the Meadows Spring Dance Concert accentuated the versatile range of talent in SMU’s dance program. The performance is nicknamed the “Hope Show” by the dancers because of its location in the Owen Arts Center’s Bob Hope Theatre. It will continue every evening this week at 8:00 p.m. until Saturday, March 28.

Faculty-in-residence John Selya choreographed the first piece which combined spoken words from Tom Stoppard’s radio play “Darkside” with music by Pink Floyd, and that wasn’t the only unique thing about this number. The performers created an interactive experience with the audience by dispersing among the crowd. Some dancers sat in the front row as if they were watching the performance themselves while others danced up and down the aisles.

Junior dance major Emily Bernet said working with Selya was one of the most unique experiences she’s had at SMU because it was such a collaborative process between Selya and the students.

“I was surprised by how much input he wanted from us and how open he was to all of our ideas,” Bernet said.

While the second dance, “Ezekiel’s Wheel,” also combined music with spoken word, it portrayed an entirely different aura. SMU dance professor Danny Buraczeski choreographed the piece as an inspiration from James Baldwin’s fight for equality in America during the 1960s. Dancers linked together like a chain that was set in motion by the movement of a single link (or dancer).

Emily Le, a senior studying creative writing and economics, thought that “Ezekiel’s Wheel” was a beautiful representation of how people can find peace in their suffering by connecting with people who are different from them but experiencing similar pain.

The final number, “The Hi Betty Cha-Cha,” satisfied the cue for a lighter note. The piece opened with a dancer lip-syncing to a Latin tango song all while sitting atop another dancer’s shoulders. Senior dance and real estate finance double major Hattie Haggard performed in this piece and felt that the humor combined with the intricate choreography of Joshua L. Peugh completely won over the audience.

Le enjoyed the final performance the most and thought it was the perfect way to add to the array of emotions covered throughout the evening.

“I think sometimes watching their facial expressions in comparison with the contrast of their body movements is the best part,” she said.

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