The Alice Austin Theatre crowded with friends and family holding bouquets of flowers for the Geneseo Dance Ensemble’s performance of “Keeping on Balance” on Friday March 1. The crowd cheered and shouted encouragements after each of the individual performances, reminded of the dedication and skill of the talented dance ensemble.
The night began with a fluid and emotional dance called “Origin,” choreographed by psychology major senior Sydney Klein. The dance had changing background colors, moods and undertones as all the dancers moved together with ease.
Psychology major senior Kevin Vazcones was impressed by the dance’s complexity.
“The first dance was my favorite,” Vazcones said. “It incorporated lots of hip hop and so many elements that resonate with me and my passion and love for dance.”
The next dance was a jazzy tap number titled “Memphis Stomp,” which was full of smiles and sparkles. The performers visibly encouraged each other’s energy and were always right on beat.
“Of A Minute,” choreographed by psychology major senior Nicole Acierno, was an emotional dance framed by changing colors in which the dancers used the whole stage. With flowing purple dresses, the performers reached and swayed with sighing, somber looks.
The audience yelled out encouragements and called out the dancers by name to compliment them.
“Seeing my friends in a setting I’ve never seen them in before was my favorite part, seeing this new side of them,” Vazcones said. “It was really exciting to see them do the things they love.”
The dance called “Touch(screen)” provided an interesting take on the effects of technology in everyday life. Dancers moved hauntingly in sync over a slam/spoken word poem by Marshall Davis Jones.
The performance gave the audience the ability to break away from the usual entertainment with personalized and unique performances.
The dancers’ dedication was made obvious during the “Dances and Liberal Arts” slide presentation given at the beginning of the show. The audience was able to see the dancers in previous performances or in segments of their rehearsal process.
Associate director of Geneseo Dance Ensemble and assistant professor of dance studies Mark Broomfield is proud of the work ethic and growth in the group.
“My favorite part is the rehearsal process, you get to see students grow in their artistry, the students individually find their own voice in their work,” Broomfield said.
Vazcones emphasized that this event and the support it garnered from the community represents how much art and dance is needed on campus.
“Geneseo lacks so much in funding the arts and giving people an outlet to express themselves creatively,” Vazcones said. “Dance and art are so important to mental health—we need things like this to decompress.”
It takes a lot of work to put on a something like “Keeping on Balance” when dance is not always seen as important to the usual curriculum.
“Art is important,” Broomfield said. “It reminds us we are human and that we have something in common. We can all gather together at an event and share in the enthusiasm of art and dance.”