Article and photos By Ramona du Houx – first published in Maine Insights
The 2017 Bowdoin College spring dance concert took place on the evenings of May 4, 5, 6 and delighted audiences with inspired contemporary dance showcasing the student’s talents.
An over all theme of the dance performance explored what it means to wake up-from a dream, from sleeping while being awake, from becoming and adult or from seeing spring shake off the blanket of winter.
It’s hard to imagine the performers were not profession. Indeed one was—Bowdoin alumna Rakiya Orange ’11 was flown in to perform a 10-minute solo piece, “Nina.” Rakiya has danced solos in N.Y.C. During the spring concert she danced while a video of different movies played on a screen behind her. She used portions of the video to dance with and express her transformation into adulthood as well as aspects of love and relationships. Orange choreographed the piece (photos top of the page).
There were five different dance performances, all choreographed with great care and artistic flare. Many of the dances focused upon self-discovery utilizing a broad range of contemporary styles, and techniques.
Ben Eisenberg ’17, danced a short piece by the band Mum. His choreography captured his remarkable skills as he apparently eased his way gracefully through complicated moves, becoming one with the music.
Gina Fickera ’18, took center stage as well with Joy Huang ’19 and Melissa Miura ’19 when they performed a piece that they also choreographed themselves. The avant-garde technique highlighted each of the dancer’s unification within the trio, as well as their individual styles.
The department of theater and dance’s Modern I class performance centered on themes of sleep through dream sequences with a little politics interwoven in the piece. While students slumbered they slowly awoke to the daunting reality of a Trump presidency. Senior Lecturer in Dance Performance Gwyneth Jones successfully brought out the best in her students as they gave an energetic display of poetry in motion.
The Modern III dance piece was improvisational and reminiscent of a river waking up in spring. Assistant Professor of Dance Aretha Aoki choreographed the fluid designed enchantment. During the process she allowed her students active roles in its creation.