Colby dance groups present collaborative show

On March 12th at 7:30 p.m., five student-run dance groups will be presenting the Collaborative Dance Showcase in Strider Theater. The project was organized by Hipnotik captain Eleanor Powell ’15, who saw the challenges with reserving space as an opportunity to create a show featuring multiple groups. “Creating a performance is an entire process that takes months. The road to this show was especially complex. Hipnotik is usually given a date at the end of the spring semester in Strider Theater, but due to scheduling constraints, the only date available to us was this early March date. Since that was way too early to have all of our dances ready, we decided to come up with a creative solution…and so Colby Dance Collaborative came to be,” said Powell.

Prior to tonight, Colby’s dance groups have primarily hosted shows individually. “The fact that this show is even happening is a huge step forward for Colby’s dance groups. Unlike a cappella, we don’t all get together for a sampler or show that just features our hard work.” Powell continued, “Before now, all the groups would book their shows independently and maybe guest perform at one or two others. Colby Dance Collaborative allows us to all come together as a dance community rather than just several clubs operating on the same campus.”

One might find it surprising that the Colby Dance Collaborative is the first time Colby’s dance groups have created a show together, however Powell explains that there is a lot of work the clubs have to do in order to put on a show. “The process in putting together a performance is very long and complex. As clubs, we have to do everything related to producing the show. This runs the gamut from scheduling spaces to applying for SGA funding for costumes or tech needs. Add choreographing and learning dances to that mix, and you can see why creating a performance is no easy feat.”

For the show, Powell said Hipnotik will be performing “a modern piece and a theatrical upbeat piece.” Elise Ozarowski ’15 worked alongside Kathryn Butler ’17 to choreograph one of the pieces. “It was my first time choreographing for Hipnotik, and it was a challenging yet rewarding process. Kath is so much more experienced with choreography, which was a huge help. We actually made the dance before picking a song, then tweaked the dance to make everything flow a bit better. Because Kath is involved in the department, it was awesome to get insight into how those dances are made in comparison with what I’m used to,” Ozarowski said.

In creating the moves for the dance, Ozarowski and Butler took to clever methods involving a lot of experimentation. Ozarowski stated, “We essentially danced freestyle and moved around in the studio and would take notice of something the other person did that we liked. Kath would do a random movement on the floor, then I would say, ‘we need to put that in the dance.’ I can’t give Kath enough credit—this dance would not have happened without her.”

The groups performing alongside Hipnotik will be the Colby Dancers, who have performed everything from tap to hip-hop; Vuvuzela, who are presenting a South African dance; STYLE, a newer group which will be presenting jazz and Bolivian inspired choreography; and the Desi Girls,who will be working in the Bollywood style. The evening will be a rare opportunity for people to see the wide variety of student dance groups perform in one setting.

Powell said, “We’ve never had a show that just features Colby’s dance clubs, so this will be a really important show not only for making dance clubs more visible on campus, but also for bringing the dance clubs closer together.”

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