This past weekend in the Alice Austin Theatre, the School of the Arts presented the Geneseo Dance Ensemble in their Spring recital entitled Passages.
The show involved 10 separate pieces, performed by anywhere from the entire ensemble to a solo dancer, each uniquely choreographed to a specific song. Music included artists as diverse as Bruce Springsteen and Evanescence, and the types of dance including ballet, jazz and even interpretive. All of these influences combined to create a truly unforgettable event for the Geneseo campus and community.
One of the first numbers of the show, "Untitled," was a solo piece featuring senior Danielle E. Rinallo. She used music written by Meredith Bragg and the Terminals, and choreographed the entire piece herself. This interpretive performance began in total silence as Rinallo raised herself from the stage floor where she had been laying surrounded by red, blue and yellow scarves and a painted rainbow ramp. As the music progressed, she flitted across the stage, circling the ramp and using a scarf of each color as props to accentuate her movements. Rinallo was very expressive, and impressed viewers with her skills as both a dancer and choreographer.
A more lively and elaborate segment of Passages, "Jig," occurred at the halfway point of the show and featured a folk-sounding song by Bruce Springsteen and excellent choreography by assistant professor Ruben T. Ornelas. The performance began with nine members of the Dance Ensemble running out onto the stage screaming and dancing together in Midwestern attire, creating the effect of a hoedown. Swift hand and feet movements, cart-wheeling and even full games of leapfrog followed this introduction, much to the delight of the audience. Junior Alex MacDonald was featured in several sections of this dance and at one point even did a brief individual dance center stage. "Jig" was the final number in the first half of Passages, and met with resounding approval from the audience for its energy and impressive style.
The segments that followed were generally much more interpretive and exotic in nature. The most memorable of these performances, entitled "Uncertain Ground," featured professor Jonette Lancos (also the choreographer) dancing to "Explorations for Violin and Piano" by Ian Hennings. Three other members of the Geneseo Dance Ensemble, Rinallo, junior Courtney Belloff, and senior John Kaczorowski, also participated in this strange but intriguing number. Lancos began by lying flat on the stage illuminated by a single light. After standing, she commenced a skilled dance of twisting, stretching and repeated collapsing as she seemingly offered herself up towards the sky. Eventually, she slowly exited the stage in pursuit of something unknown, and the other three Ensemble members entered. Their dances involved the group stomping around in a circle along with other actions suggestive of a primordial factor in the music. Lancos eventually returned to the stage, and ended the piece by swaying in front of the audience as the lights faded. Though a little unusual, "Uncertain Ground" managed to entertain with its artistic style and progressive approach to dance performance.
Passages finally concluded to rounds of applause as the Geneseo Dance Ensemble took their well-deserved bows.