December 6, 2019

Blackfriars Dance Concert Tackles Debates

posted on: Thursday November 21, 2019

TDF Choreographers Get Creative with Political Numbers

by: Brenna O’Leary ’20 A&E Staff

Dance comes in many styles and movements, and can be accompanied by a variety of musical numbers. However, the Providence College Dance Company went above and beyond with its Blackfriars Dance Concert this past weekend.  The shows on Friday and Saturday were attended by many friends and family supporting dance at PC.  The dancers, using their knowledge and precision, brought movement to a new level.  The show consisted of eight dances, all of which were unique in style, masterfully planned by choreographers, and performed by PC students who, for almost two hours, became moving art.  

Kate Doner ’22 joined Dance Company last year and has loved every moment.  Doner said, “Each dancer is typically assigned to choreographers who meet twice a week for two hours.”  Dancing in this concert’s numbers “A Breath” and “Space Bandits,” Doner was excited to talk about what Dance Company means to the students who are a part of it.  

In total, Doner said, there are about 25 girls, so dancing has created a very tight knit community.  She said, “It is a great organization because it facilitates relationships between a small group of PC students in a welcoming atmosphere.”

Dance Company Blackfriars Concert

LAURA CHADBOURNE ’20 / THE COWL

The show opened with a thought-provoking piece called “Debate,” which was choreographed by Dr. Wendy Oliver of the PC theatre, dance, and film department. The dancers were meant to be politicians, and their movements did not have a traditionally musical background.  Instead, they moved to the sound of muffled political debates.  

Dr. Oliver, who is also the advisor, said she had been inspired by the summer’s political debates, and that “the idea was to create the feeling of the debate, slightly exaggerated.” This showed in the dance itself.  The dancers’ gestures harnessed the tense, confused energy of the debates, and the sound, as Dr. Oliver put it, “served as the impetus for a more abstract and surreal section of the dance, which played with the idea of competition.” 

Dr. Oliver also revealed that many of the choreographers started meeting with students mid-September, but that it was during the summer that the leaders started gathering ideas.  Together, these choreographers came together with the students to create a production that portrayed movement in all its different capacities.  From “Debate” to pieces like “A Breath” and “Space Bandit,” the concert showed the power of communication and passion within human movement.        

Dance Company is an audition dance group on campus. Next semester is their spring concert, and it will, no doubt, showcase yet again the beauty of dance through the passion and capability of the organization. The spring concert will be choreographed by students, not outside choreographers, and will be a testament to the dance talent present here at PC.  The Dance Company will have their next concert in April 2020.

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