The School of Theater and Dance experienced a change of breath this weekend.
“Exhale – An Evening of Dance and Voice” debuted last Friday on campus. The dance concert was a combination of different dance styles and a breath of fresh air for those weary of theatrical monotony.
The first performance was “Sense,” choreographed by USF guest faculty member Julio Montana. Seven dancers performed to international music. The performance ranged from soothing to sensual.
The second set of performances was titled “Refrigerator Art (a.k.a. Once…Not so very long ago)” choreographed by professor Lynne Wimmer. The set was a humorous look into childhood memories. Performers took turns speaking about and re-enacting their childhood. There was no music, but none was needed; the performers’ animated voices and body gestures were enough to entertain the audience and make them laugh.
Julie Rose, special programs coordinator, described the dance concert as a high-impact, high-energy show.
“I think it will wow everybody who comes,” said Rose. “It’s a mostly modern dance concert … there’s some ballet, but the particular ballet in this concert has a kind of modern twist to it.”
“Refrigerator Art” was followed by “Ritmo del Corazon” (Rhythm of the Heart) an upbeat and rhythmic piece inspired by Cuban salsa. Choreographed by associate professor Jeanna Travers, this performance made one feel like they were in a salsa nightclub. Add the live music of violinist Dayren Santamaria, and it became one of the most genuine performances of the night.
Rose believes nothing can compare to live dance performances,
“There’s nothing like the experience of going to a live dance concert, because you get to see the actual dancers’ movements, you hear them breathing on stage, you see the energy they put into it,” she said.
Following “Ritmo del Corazon” was the premiere of the night: “The Sound of Moving.” This performance was unlike any other. The performers transformed themselves into a church choir. They lined up in rows, and one student played the role of choir director. Each performer sang a different sound when directed. The sounds ranged from bird chirps to singing, and it was exciting to watch such a range of sound come from a group of 15 people.
Another section of the performance consisted of a song created by tapping spoons against half-filled glasses. One student got carried away, leaped from the floor and started dancing uncontrollably, which provided another in a series of funny moments throughout the night.
The final performance was entitled “The Carpet.” The dance consisted of thirteen performers dancing fiercely, using each other’s bodies to react to and to dance off.
Rose believes that those who come to this concert will want to attend more in the future.
“I can guarantee they’ll be wowed by it and want to come back to see the spring concert,” Rose said, “that this will be something that they’ll incorporate into their lives … I know they’ll be wowed … just seeing the talent of these dancers is something that’ll stick with them.”
The dance concert proved to be an innovative show that broke away from the norm of tutus and the overated Nutcracker.Freshman marketing major Jolyse Stultz was surprised by the performance.
“I thought the show was very good. I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, honestly,” she said. “I especially love the one where they were singing and they were tapping the glasses; I thought it was very good.”
The show will run again this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. For ticket information, visit https://usfweb3.usf.edu/ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=2356.