Hello everyone! After a crazy last few weeks, I am finally back here to check in with my final blog post of the year. As you have probably guessed, Dance Emerge is finished, and was an astounding success, if I do say so myself. I am so proud to say that in my first year here at Muhlenberg, I was a part of the largest Dance Emerge cast yet, with fourteen diverse dance pieces by fourteen incredible student choreographers. After a hectic week of tech rehearsals, our amazing cast performed six sold out shows, including our Wednesday dress which was opened to the public because of demand. I cannot even begin to sum up the crazy experience of show week, but I think that is exactly what makes it a Muhlenberg dance performance.
To start the week, all dancers and tech crew attended various types of tech rehearsals so that each performance would be flawless. First was spacing, where each choreographer gets a set time slot in the Dance Studio Theatre to run his or her piece. I always get so excited seeing how the space where I take my weekly classes is transformed into a performance space fit with lights, sounds, and curtains. After running the piece a few times in spacing came cue-to-cue, where our fantastic lighting designer Paul E. Theisen makes each choreographer’s lighting visions come true. Each choreographer gets a few light cues to further enhance the moods of their pieces. As any dancer could probably tell you, I never feel as though the show is finally real until the lights are on me.
Following cue-to-cue came the dress rehearsals, which usually run the few days before opening night. At final dress, everybody and everything is going full steam: tech, lights, and sound are running and the dancers are in full costumes, hair, and makeup. During the last few rehearsals, backstage is as busy as ever, ironing out the final kinks of the show as everyone gets into the groove of the run.
Then came opening night. This was the time we had all been waiting for, so as everyone arrived backstage the energy level was as high as can be. After we all got in costume, applied makeup and did our hair, most casts grouped together with their choreographers for a final pep talk. Usually, this involved some inter-cast gift giving before we all headed downstairs for our final shakeout. As you can guess, this Muhlenberg tradition, along with “Pass the Squeeze” was especially emotional for the seniors in Dance Emerge, who were about to perform for the last time on the Muhlenberg mainstage. Although I cannot even imagine how I will feel four years from now, I can surely say that it was an honor for everyone involved to work on such a great show.
As I said before, this year’s Dance Emerge was an overwhelming success for everyone involved, and I can only hope that I continue to be a part of such great shows here at Muhlenberg!
Here’s a picture of the piece I was in (Photo Credit: Matthew Wright, Fig Tree Photography):