A&E / Archive

Dancers take center stage:

 At a school as small as Eastern, it is always a pleasant surprise to find big talent. In no place was this truer than at the dance department’s 20th anniversary show.

Students, professors and alumni alike sparkled in this year’s performances, earning them this critic’s embarrassingly unrestrained applause.

The night started off with a point number that could only be described as the outward expression of tip-top talent. The next piece, choreographed by ‘07 alumna Kara Schmidt possessed a sort of strange beauty that was easy to appreciate.

In Kelsey Brennan’s “Separately Together,” junior Heather Mahurin was the one to watch. Her physical expression was captivating and powerful.

“Paresthesias,” the piece to follow, was hauntingly original. The five girls to grace the stage were beautifully eerie. Dressed in white and hair loosed about their shoulders, the girls appeared to be a blend between china dolls and apparitions.

This ethereal vision was quickly dissolved however by senior Jenna Eugenides’ “My Weakness (Is You).” A presentation of the powerful fragility of the human heart, the piece was both stunningly choreographed and executed.

This quality did not waver as the seven dancers in Stephanie King’s “The Recovery” consumed the stage. The piece possessed a jungle-esque vibe, and the stage glowed with energy as the room was filled with an intoxicating blend of sensuousness, power and vulnerability. The dancers of this piece are to be commended for their powerful performance.

After that, the night got sweeter with a performance by two beloved members of the Eastern community. Husband and wife teamed up for “That Most Pleasant Tyrant of Emotions” in which professor of music David Bryant attempted to compose a piece of music while professor Janine Bryant expressed herself through dance. The piece was charming, coquettish and sweetly irresistible.

Other highlights of the night included the work in progress “And the Church Said… Amen.” Choreographed by Saleana Pettaway, the work was fresh and quirky and everything a finale piece should be.

All of the dancers and choreographers are to be commended for this tremendous show. If this is the kind of quality, originality, energy, grace and precision that has come out of Eastern in the last twenty years, we can only imagine what will happen in the next twenty. The show certainly lived up to its name and was indeed terrific.

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