Colby on Stage: a showcase of student talent
Now in its third year, Colby on Stage gave a lively variety or performances, from Taiko drumming to dance performances.
- Powder & Wig presents Pirandello’s Henry IV
- Theater and Dance present student shows at New Works Festival
- Conner launches Practicum
On Saturday, Oct. 30, students from campus performance groups lit up the stage in Strider Theater in a showcase for friends and family. This tradition started in 2009 and is a great way to give parents and fellow students alike a chance to see the performers’ love for the arts come alive.
This year’s show featured the Colby Taiko Drumming Club, a first year contemporary dance group, an excerpt from a play, the Colby Ballroom Dancing Club, Colby Dancers, Broadway Musical Revue (BMR), an excerpt from the Powder and Wig production: Reefer Madness and Hipnotik.
Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Todd Coulter served as master of ceremonies and began by introducing the Colby Taiko Drumming Club. The drummers provided a forceful opening to the show, with impressive synchronization and stoic faces. The drummers stood in two rows according to drum size and worked with striking precision.
Next up was a contemporary dance piece performed exclusively by first years under the direction of Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance Annie Kloppenberg and assistant student choreographers Delaney McDonough ’13 and Ellie McGuire ’13. The group provided an opportunity for the audience to understand the vivacity and complexity of contemporary dance. The dancers dressed in muted colors and flowing garments to suggest an allusion to everyday life and its surprising multifaceted nature.
The music was a fusion of varying sounds, and the dancers’ movements correlated with this sense of organized chaos. The dancers relied on one another’s movements to progress the piece as they leaned against, lifted and pushed one another, exploring different possibilities of movement. Delaney McDonough commented, “It was really great to work so closely and collaboratively with Annie and the freshmen to create the piece together. I feel like the experience was really memorable for the freshmen as they got their footing on campus to have such a safe and creative space to get to know us and each other.”
Next was an excerpt from the play, The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel, directed by Coulter and staged by student assistant director Sally Meehan ’12. The student performers collaborated with wooden puppets from the Freeport-based Figures of Speech Theater. Two narrators told the story of the troubled family while six other students brought the puppets to life in the background. Eventually, the narrators took on the role of the parents driving the car while the children remained in the “backseat,” adding a new element to the performance. The play will be performed in its entirety Nov. 10-12.
Then came the Colby Ballroom Club’s performance of “Salsa Fuego,” featuring three couples clad in red and black clothing as they wowed the audience in a fast-paced, exciting piece. The couples moved with incredible fluidity and were able to isolate their various body parts to the amazement of the audience.
Up next was an excerpt from Powder and Wig’s performance of the play Reefer Madness, compiled in the first week of classes. The excerpt featured a song in which two characters used Shakespeare to facilitate their efforts at wooing one another. The piece was endearing and garnered several laughs from the audience.
The next piece was a contemporary dance piece performed by four members of the Colby Dancers, choreographed by Julia Moore ’13. The piece combined both ballet and modern influences as it captured the spirit of the Dispatch song “The General,” which was on in the background. The audience could really focus on the dancers’ movements and appreciate the on-point synchronization of the performers.
Next up was a performance by BMR and featured a large group of students all sporting black T-shirts. It opened with one singer urging his apathetic peers around him to embody more of that “show people” spirit. Gradually, others joined in the camaraderie, and eventuallyall the performers begin to sing, “We can’t picture being anything but show people” as they incorporated timeless elements of Broadway: the can-can and the v-formation.
Hipnotik closed the show with an impressive, fast-paced hip-hop sequence played to a Britney Spears medley. The dancers brought their signature attitude and energy to the stage and provided a great conclusion to the show.
Colby on Stage was made possible the Theater and Dance Department and the dedication of the various student performing groups.