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Seniors perform final dances before they go

For a moment, the stage in McInnis Auditorium resembled a Fruit of the Loom commercials, as six oversized produce products jumped and scurried around.

The hilarious opening introduced an hour-long dance piece, called “Fruit for Thought” that explored the different meanings of the fruits of the spirits and their opposites.

The emotional collection of dances, choreographed by senior Jenna Eugenides, was the final performance of the senior dance show, “Before We Go …” With five different seniors being showcased, the show was split into two different nights, with Kaylee Goodwin, Jessica Bryan and Chelsea Simon presenting their work on Feb. 19 and Britney Doyle and Eugenides finishing up on Feb. 20.

Eugenides said she began working on her performance, which featured 15 different segments, at the beginning of the fall semester, making it her top priority.

She decided to highlight the fruits of the spirit after hearing about a friend who had worked through a similar devotional.

“I wanted to do that too,” Eugendies said. “My way of doing that was through dancing.”

At first she only planned to choreograph dances to represent each of the nine fruits listed in Galatians 5:22, but found that it was becoming somewhat monotonous. So, she decided to twist things up a bit by including dances to express the opposites of each virtue.

“You kind of have to express the bad to really appreciate the good,” Eugenides said.

The performance did not follow the typical list of the fruits, but instead skipped around to show how the different emotions are represented in life.

“I made it really emotional and I put the dances together where there were a couple good ones and then it got really heavy,” Eugenides said. “I did that on purpose so that people would feel it. It was my journey through the fruit of the spirits.”

Eugenides ended her piece with a dance about joy and faithfulness because she said it reflects the fact that God is and will always be there, even when life gets tough.

Before Eugenides’ fruit parade, Doyle presented a sentimental performance, “Because of You…,” that highlighted the ways both dance and people have influenced her life. Each of the four dances completed the title sentence, showing that the impact of others gave her the ability to dance, love, live and take the next step.

On Friday evening, Goodwin started things off with her piece “Learning to Relate,” a set of four dances that were each dedicated to significant people in her life, beginning with God and her sister, to a homeless man she met in Australia and her parents.

Bryan’s piece “Love Surrenders All,” was an ongoing story about her journey of learning to accept love from her friends. Instead of being broken down into individual dances like the others, Bryan’s performance continued through five different songs.

The evening ended with a piece much different than what is typical of most performances on the dance stage. Simon, who is technically no longer a dance major but is completing an independent study in multimedia productions, had live musicians, video montages and paint incorporated into her piece “Peace, Love and Chelsea.”

The hippie-themed performance switched back and forth between songs performed by John Glaubitz and senior Dan Ison to dances that were carefree and fun. In one dance, the performers ran around smearing paint on each other, clearly enjoying themselves in the process.

“I just wanted to do something different that I haven’t tried before,” Simon said, who has been known for her more thought-provoking and intense dances throughout the years.

The performances are meant to give seniors one final opportunity to showcase not only their dancing ability but their vision and talent for choreography.

“I’m going to miss it,” Eugenides said. “I don’t like that’s it over.”

She said that about halfway through her piece, the finality of the show hit her as she watched one of the dances from backstage. The fact that the first half was completed, never to be performed again, made her sentimental about the event.

The audience, made up of the senior dancers’ friends and family, felt the bitter-sweetness of the moment as well.

“I got really upset,” junior Hannah Anderson said. “Like, this is their last dance. This is everything that they learned. It made me kind of wish I had seen them as freshman.”
 

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