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2011 Spring Issue 8 (May 27, 2011)

Semaphore performs, pays tribute to end of era at Arena Theater

May 27, 2011
By Noelani Kirschner

The Semaphore Repertory Dance Company held its spring term performances this week on Friday night and Sunday afternoon, performing for the last time in Arena Theater. The show featured five choreographed pieces, two of which were choreographed by guest choreographers, while the remaining three were student choreographed. In addition, there was a good-bye tribute to Arena at the end.

The first piece, titled “Nritta”, was a Bharatanatyam Indian dance that was a lively start to the show. The dancers wore colorful tunics, creating a rainbow effect as the dance picked up speed and began to turn and spin around the floor. Guest choreographers Aparna Ramaswamy and Ranee Ramaswamy, both highly acclaimed dancers and choreographers, choreographed the dance in a traditional Indian style that has not been performed at Carleton in a while.

The next piece was a duet, featuring senior student dancers Kai Knutson and Caroline Giese who also choreographed the piece. Set to the Sigur Ros song, “Soeglopur” and lit with neutral soft light, the dance explored the partner aspect of relationships. Knutson and Giese leaned, pushed, and jumped off of each other, working with the theme of support and dependency.

Their white, plain costumes lent a blank canvas onto which the audience members could project their own emotions. Overall, the general feeling of the piece was one of sentiment that carried nostalgic undertones.

The third piece was titled “Spill” and choreographed by student Elise Erickson ’12. The music consisted entirely of the sound of a human heartbeat, allowing the dancers a steady bassline. In a rhythmic swirl, the dancers each had their own specific bit of choreography that aligned with one another in a cacophony of movement.

Following was a piece done by guest choreographer Chris Flink; it played with light and dark amidst the sounds of dripping water. The dancers rolled on the ground, ran at each other, and did stylized partner work in an impressive array of moves. The dancers moved fluidly across the stage in accordance with the theme of water flow and chiaroscuro. Visually stunning and truly a testament to the dancers’ abilities, the dance was a crowd favorite evidenced by the cheering and enthusiasm at its finish.

The final piece was choreographed by Emily Ban ’12 and revolved around a giant pile of sand in the center of the stage. The six dancers, dressed in sand colored slacks and tank tops, kicked the sand to spread it around the stage amidst their choreographed moves. The end result was a piece of visual art in addition to the beautiful moves of the dancers.

The show closed with “Bow”, a short farewell to Arena Theater, which featured mournful Italian opera music and black costumes. The dancers entered the stage each carrying a single red rose that they placed in front of them before walking off in different directions at the end.
Overall, the show was a splendor that truly displayed the impressive dance talent at Carleton. The next Semaphore show will be at the Weitz Center for Creativity in the fall and should further explore the Carleton dance scene.

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