Keene State College’s Dance Department began making strides toward its annual Evening of Dance performance.
Evening of Dance will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 13 to 15 with an additional 2:00 p.m. performance on the 15 in the Redfern Arts Center Main Theatre.
The performance will consist of four choreographed pieces by Professor Cynthia McLaughlin, KSC faculty member Molly Fletcher-Lynch, adjunct Eleanor Goudie-Averill, and guest artist Tatiana Desardouin.
“The choreographers are not collaborating so it’s not like we decided on concepts together,” McLaughlin said. “But it’s always interesting when you cna sort of draw lines through themes that seem to emerge sort of naturally.” McLaughlin said that she is recreating a piece that she choreographed for Evening of Dance in 2014.
“I am actually resurrecting a piece that was the first piece that I had made for students at Keene State back in 2014 and it’s a piece called “Tooth and Nail,” McLaughlin said. “The sort of main theme is the wolf and what that represents in our psyche, in our stories, in our imagination and we really take a look at both the wildness inside of ourselves and the restraint inside of ourselves, the anger inside of ourselves and the fear inside of ourselves.”
McLaughlin added, “All the sort of different things that the wolf has represented in mythology and in fairy tales and it’s very complex and complicated and creates this visceral kind of movement.”
McLaughlin said that she wanted the dancers to hone in on the emotion of anger in her piece and that they “talked a lot about anger being a catalyst for change or transformation, about forward moving energy. We talked about fear and shame and then courage and how they all relate to anger.”
Additionally, Lynch’s piece centers around emotions, specifically from the voices of her students.
“Molly Lynch is doing a piece where she really just wanted to look at the student’s sort of emotional landscape right now, we’re not post-COVID but we’re where we are in COVID,” McLaughlin said. “… She’s been collaborating with a few different sound designers capturing things that the students are saying… she really started out hearing a lot of anger from the students.”
McLaughlin added, “Sometimes [students] come in and they’re higher or they’re talking about sadness or fears or, you know, there’s a lot of complexities and you can’t just sort of pigeonhole them into one emotion… but it’s really looking like this age group and where they are now and how they’re feeling.” McLaughlin mentioned that Desardouin’s piece was centered around, “peer pressure and having to sort of stay in a box.”
Additionally, Averill is “creating a work where she’s really looking at who we celebrate in history, like who gets to be put in the history books and asking questions around when we make our choices in our own lives, do we wanna make choices that we feel are gonna put us in line to be considered for the history books?” McLaughlin mentioned that the rehearsal process is “always interesting because you usually start with nothing, [but] it’s been a different process for me because I started with work that I had already created… This has been a much more sort of linear process, whereas I would say from Molly and Ellie’s [perspective] I think they have been experimenting conceptually and like bringing things together.”
McLaughlin added that people should see Evening of Dance because “it gives you a full kinesthetic experience that is like nothing else, and it’s good for the soul.”
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“People should see Evening of Dance because “it gives you a full kinesthetic experience that is like nothing else, and it’s good for the soul.”