On Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23, the dance department held the Spring Dance show, “Journey into the DOYO.” Both performances had a remarkable turnout of students, families and dance enthusiasts.
The Friday showing kicked off with a high energy step performance from a step dance team from Neighborhood House. It was followed by pieces created by students in the choreography class of Professor Kimani Fowlin, who was also the director of the show.
This spring’s show had a lot of creative performances. The dancers brought intensity and passion for the pieces they performed in, and the performances took place in multiple locations, which brought an exciting energy to each dance. The style of dance was mostly contemporary with a fun tap number in the mix.
A tricky aspect of the dance show was the moving from space to space throughout the performance time. The show began outside of Mead Hall, moved to the lawn of Seminary, outside of the DOYO, into the DOYO rotunda and lastly, into the black box for the remaining six pieces.
Although this was an engaging way of experiencing dance, it was difficult as an audience member to acclimate to each new performance space. It was also difficult in terms of being able to see each piece. Since the audience turnout was so huge, some of the dancers were obscured from certain angles.
Despite this issue, many attendees remarked on how exciting it was to move with a non-static performance.
Performer Kareena Salvi (‘23) said, “The site-specific dance pieces created a rejuvenating experience for audience members like myself.”
Another impressive aspect of this show was the dramaturgical work done by co-dramaturgs Christina Rodden (‘24) and Gianni Villarini (‘24). The Dramaturgy board in the Theater wing of the DOYO featured an interactive map created by Villarini as well as decorations of fake flowers, photos and brown construction paper resembling the Path. Rodden also recorded exciting promotional video material for the dance department’s Instagram.
The show also featured a moving senior piece, highlighting the great talent in the dance department’s seniors. Their love for dance and one another shone clearly through the senior piece.
Performer Maddy Sands (‘22) said, “I have been a huge part of the dance department here at Drew for the last four years. Throughout my experience as a dancer, choreographer and assistant director, I have grown tremendously as an artist and my love for dance has only skyrocketed.”
Overall, despite exploring a variety of topics through each choreographer’s piece, the dance show felt extremely cohesive. Each performance was emotionally moving, whether comically or dramatically.
Salvi reflected that “‘Journey into the DOYO’ had smooth transitions that happened to fuse all the emotions I experienced during the pandemic and now, ranging from sadness, fun, growth, burn out, anger and hope.”