This poem will not change things.

This poem needs to be changed.

This poem is a rebirth of a people

A rising, a wakening, for understanding.

A performer shouted poetry with a backdrop of two dancers on stage at the Shared Graduate Dance Concert Saturday in the Dance Theater of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. There was much left to the imagination as MFA dance students performed their developing choreography.

The show opened with a woman sitting on a colored blanket. She looked up with a confused, yet determined expression on her face and took a loud bite of toast. Crumbs flew everywhere, illuminated by soft,yellow light.

The proceeding dance was an invigorating, heart-wrenching scene focusing on two bodies intertwining  shaking, bathed in  blue light and delicate instrumental music. It seemed the woman was trying to escape, reaching for the ceiling while he wrapped himself around her waist.

In the corner lay a pillow with a small brown teddy bear. The audience was able to vicariously experience a visceral sense of loss when the male dancer thrashed to and fro next to the teddy bear. The dance came to a close with him in a fetal position and her clearly seeking  something unknown.

This portion of the dance consisted of three parts: another portrayed only the male dancer, clearly in a crisis as he thrashed about, and the third a more joyous dance with both dancers, seemingly reconciled.

Arguably, the strangest of the pieces was also the longest. It featured multiple female dancers.

First, a dancer twisted quietly toward the center of the stage. She stood for a moment, staring at the audience, bright,red lipstick, and pressed her legs together, resulting in a loud-slapping sound echoing throughout the theater. She did this repeatedly, each time eliciting more laughs from the audience. Her movements did not have explicit meaning, but created an atmosphere of humor that followed throughout the piece.

It was awkward, but it bound the audience together.

The whole performance was like this. Dancers ran about on stage making cooing noises, chirping and wriggling. This does not mean  the dance lacked talent. It almost seemed to be a satirical production of modern dance.

If audience members were ready and receptive, they were able to experience a confusing, satisfying and complex emotional experience.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Mark Costello.

WritersBloc_Headshots_22Raye Weigel is a sophomore multiplatform journalism and English major and may be reached at

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