Western Courier

UDT puts on an amazing end of the year show

Alyssa Hohman

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Western Illinios UniversityDance Theater (UDT) heldtheir Spring Gala Dance Concert this weekend. There were performances Thursday through Sunday at Hainline Theater. The show featured a variety of dancers and styles, showcasing each individual’s ability.

Many of the pieces were student choreographed andtheir hard work clearly showed. It is amazing to see how talented these students are. They have an insane ability to tell stories and convey powerful messages through dance.

This particular show toldmany powerful messages.Some were easy to understand and others required a bit of thought. Some of the pieces were light and fun while others were deep and touched the hearts of the audience. There were 10 pieces in the whole show, and each one was unique.

This particular show also featured the talents of many graduating seniors. During this performance underclassmen and seniorsdanced side by side. Watching the new talent with the experienced dancers,it is so awesome to see what their futures hold.

One of my favorite pieces of the night involved the largest number of dancers. The piece, called “One,” choreographed by Heidi Clemmens and cast, incorporated men and women of all ages of all abilities from Bridgeway Inc. Thepiece was heartwarming,and it was beautiful to watch. Seeing people from all backgrounds performingwhat they love together was incredible. The way that everyone was incorporated, regardless of whetheror not they could dance on their own two feet,was inspirational.

The dancers, Western students or not, seemed to enjoy this piece as well. The smiles on their faces lit up the stage and their proud bows at the end were powerful. I cannot say enough about this pieceand how wonderfully performed it was.

The piece “Motherland,” choreographed by NissiSmith, was a piece that tied back to Africa. It began with the dancers imitating animals, and then transitioned into an incredibly beautiful dance. This piece had several solos and really highlighted the dancers, abilities. The piece was really interesting and really drew the audience in. Everyone was completely captivated until the curtain was drawn.

Another amazing performance was the piece called “Perfection Isn’t Real,”choreographed by Dawn Tonkinson. This performance shared a message about body image. This piece had four dancers, a voice over done with the dancers and an arrangement by another Western student. This piece was extremely unique, and its message incredibly powerful. The dancers onthe stage had on very minimal matching costumes.Each woman was completely different from oneanother — different nationalities, heights and hair colors — and that reallyadded to the message of the piece. The voice overwas also incredible onthis piece. Hearing thevulnerable voice of eachdancer as she detailed the way that people have negatively described her body was relatable to many.

I think it is safe to say that most women have experienced some sort of body shaming or pressure to look a certain way. It has been addressed in so many ways but this was the first time I had seen it done with dance. It was a refreshing way to see the message portrayed and it was done in an, excellent way.

These dance recitals are always a favorite of mine to attend. As someone who is completely uncoordinated, I am mesmerized by each performance. The sheer talent of these dancers is remarkable and goes to show what Western has to offer. Unfortunately, the concert is done for the semester but come fallthere will be plenty moreto see. UDT also doesan excellent job of makingsure that they have one big performance at the endof each semester, as a sort of wrap-up of the year.

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UDT puts on an amazing end of the year show