This past weekend, April 24-27, Geneseo Dance Ensemble welcomed back some exceptionally talented alumni for the collaborative performance, "Dancing Past to Present: Celebrating 40 Years."
Directed by dance professor Jonette Lancos, the show was diverse in its cultural and stylistic representations and never missed a beat in capturing the audience members' awe throughout all of Alice Austin Theatre.
After a rather long slide show outlining the history of Geneseo's dance program, the curtain opened on the first dance. Performed by a group of current students, "Take a Number" was an interpretation of the drudgery of waiting in line. Displaying the choppy, stop-n-go, 'head-to-tail,' budging-in characteristics that make lines so slogging, "Take a Number" was extremely funny and entertaining, even if it was a little unfortunate in its familiarity.
Another spectacular dance was "Dallied Continuance: Choosing Between Diminutive Indispensables and Considerable Inconsequentials." Choreographed and performed by Christine Seward, the talented woman who also choreographed "Take a Number," "Dallied Continuance" was a fantastic (but again, too familiar) portrayal of the art of procrastination. The dance had Seward spinning in a desk chair and wrestling with her books, showing the dizzying struggle we all know too well around this time of year.
The end of the first half concluded with "Suite," performed by current Geneseo students. Done to a composition of Frank Sinatra songs, it was a sort of upbeat and flirty "Italian mating dance." "Suite" inspired a feeling like strolling through Central Park on a beautiful spring day, holding your crush with one hand and a cannoli in the other.
However, my personal favorite was "A Failing/Falling." Choreographed by Heather Klopchin (class of '95), this dance was an extra-special treat. Modern and masterful, Klopchin looked completely in control of her body, moving with a fluidity and command I've only ever seen before with the LINES Ballet earlier this semester.
The grand finale of the show was the dance "Energy Fusion," performed to the musical genius of Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Aesthetically rich and vivid, this dance was so much fun to watch and looked equally pleasurable to perform. It had most of the night's performers enthusiastically dancing, including additional alumni, all beaming as if this was one of those extra-special moments in life.
On top of everything, the direction was top notch. During the alumni discussion following the show, everyone sang high praises for Lancos. Mark Broomfield (class of '94), who performed the sexy and slightly taboo "Dance of the Male Goddess," said of Lancos, "It's very rare in the world to find people who will support your vision." Scott Jones (class of '87) said, "You [Jonette] taught my soul to dance."
It was a beautiful performance that truly reiterated the alumni's shared excitement to be back and the fond memories they have held after leaving