For the first time this year, Terpsichore Dance Collective will take to the stage in Harbach for a full showcase performance, Fractal Fusion, which will be performed on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m.
As with most Terpsichore productions, the constant in Fractal Fusion is variety.
According to senior Evelyn Langley, whose final piece for Terpsichore will appear in the performance, the show may feel different from its predecessors, but only because it keeps with their one constant: change. With new choreographers and a different array of dancers every term, the productions shift to reflect the visions of their creators.
“Terp has always been about a strange mix of things and it all comes down to the people who want to dance and perform together. So I think that what we’re doing now is completely in line with that,” said Langley.
Each term leading up to a mainstage show tends to be chock full for those involved, from choreography selections, to auditions, to first and second showings during which pieces are given feedback and the production managers are able to gain an idea of what the performance will look like as a whole.
Of course, this generally means they have something new and noteworthy in the works. This term, it involves incorporating other artists from the Knox community.
Senior Michelle Orr’s music capstone will be set to dance in collaboration with Langley, creating a piece that borrows elements learned over the winter break Ghana trip that both attended. The two pieces which will represent Knox at the American College Dance Festival will also be performed, one by junior Juan Irizarry and another by seniors Chelsea Embree and Alyssa Kennamer. The finale will also be choreographed by Pandora’s Box.
“As a student-run dance collective, we know how difficult it is to get a performance space and generate an audience, so we wanted to help those people who are doing work that is in line with our goals,” said junior and co-production manager Allie Fry.
As always, the performance will offer Terpsichore’s various choreographers the opportunity to gain experience and showcase their work.
Fractal Fusion will be choreographer and sophomore Sammie Zimay’s debut with Terpsichore. A transfer student without extensive choreography experience, she applied and received a spot in the lineup for her piece, which deals with cancer and its impact on society. Her motivation started with the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, which brought cancer to her mind and got her thinking about how many people she knew, including herself, whose lives have been impacted by cancer in some way.
Her intent was to produce something to which many could connect. “Yes, this is a battle that a lot of us are fighting, but it’s something that we can fight,” she said.
On the other end of the spectrum, Langley’s piece will follow her extensive involvement with Terpsichore since fall term of her first year at Knox. Her concept began with a vision of dancing in a large material form — she and her dancers settled on a giant plastic bag.
“As we’ve worked with the material, it’s naturally come up, ‘What does this material mean? What are our associations with it? What’s informing these feelings and how are we negotiating that relationship to it?’” Langley said.
After almost four years, she still views Terpsichore shows as an opportunity to showcase work in progress.
“I wonder how much dance would be created here if there wasn’t a show. I see the show as something that motivates people to create, but I hope it’s not the only reason that they’re creating,” she said.
Still, all this variety can make the show difficult to compile into a cohesive whole.
“Something that’s fun about Terp, but also a challenge is that we get so many applications that are totally different genres, very different messages or intents and we package it all into one show,” Fry said.
The pieces run the gambit, creating situations where upbeat choreography to Beyonce’s “Upgrade You” could be performed just before or after something like Irizarry’s piece dealing with head trauma and physical recovery.
“We are bringing together so many different, conflicting elements, sometimes the show order feels a little like an emotional rollercoaster. But we hope that it will make for something unique and beautiful,” Fry said.
Editor’s note: Michelle Orr is the Senior Photo Editor for The Knox Student. Chelsea Embree is the Digital Editor for The Knox Student.