Tired of studying all day for midterms? Take a break and catch the Drexel Dance Ensemble Winter Concert 2012, presented by Drexel’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design! This term’s theme is “Snapshots,” reflecting the moments in the lives of choreographers and dancers alike. It revolves around the various emotions we all feel in our lives at one point in time or another.
The show kicks off with an emotional piece, “Departed Recollections,” choreographed by Sarah Calvanico and Heather Otten. It progresses with a number of immaculate performances and takes us through the journey of life, elaborating the various ups and downs we may face. One dance that stood out to me in particular was “Love and Willpower,” choreographed by Grace Gamble. It portrays the process of falling in love, getting your heart ripped out of your chest and ultimately letting your guard up so that you do not fall into the “trap” again. The intricacy and level of emotion and intensity in this piece brought goose bumps to my arms. The underlying theme of this performance, however, was that of independence: We are beautiful young women and are 100-percent capable of being happy on our own terms.
“Snapshots” consists of 10 dance pieces, each more beautiful and elegant than the last. The dancers show exceptional talent and skill onstage. Emotions are let loose and intensity is at its highest. Precision to detail is another aspect that we Drexel Dragons do not forget; Toes are pointed, and the lines are perfect. The dancers move impeccably and flow flawlessly from one step to another. The students in duets have developed real relationships, which can be seen clearly through their chemistry both onstage and off. The winter concert portrays feelings of fear, anger, disgust, happiness and hope. It is through these emotions that the audience can connect with the dancers on an entirely different level.
The Drexel Dance Ensemble attempts to showcase the talents of students, faculty and guest artist choreographers from a wide range of genres. It provides opportunities for students not only to understand and grow in the field of dance, but also to express themselves socially and culturally. The dancers consider their ensemble more than a company; it is a growing and changing community of dancers. Our very own Miriam Giguere, director of Drexel’s dance program since 1992, directed “Snapshots.” Before coming to Drexel, Giguere toured nationally and internationally with professional dance companies such as Ann Vachon and South Street Dance Company. Mina Estrada, producer of the Drexel Dance Ensemble, said, “It has been a lot of hard work but a very exciting process. The main aim is to provide the students with opportunities to produce their own work and interact with their peers and respected professionals in the field of dance.”
Erica Pike, who participates in several of the pieces, including Ashley Jacob’s “Photoshop,” regards the process as inspirational and refreshing. She said, “The choreography, which was learned over the course of 10 or so weeks, was a collaboration between dancers and choreographer, which made the piece much more personal. Since the piece dealt with one’s own insecurities, our own movement really told the individual stories of each dancer. Overall, I really enjoyed dancing because of Ashley’s willingness to work in partnership with her dancers as well as exploring a deep, personal subject through movement.”
“Snapshots” plays at the Mandell Theater (33rd and Chestnut streets) Feb. 2-4 at 8 p.m.. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for students, faculty and professional staff with a Drexel ID.