Emotion expressed through movement
Students from the UH School of Theatre and Dance put on their annual “March Madness” recital in the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts on Monday.
The show had an informal setting and was performed in a small performance studio with an intimate and personal feel.
The first performance was choreographed by Jessica Capistran and called “From Within.”
It was a captivating piece that depicted the internal and external actions of the body, focusing on the heart.
Three dancers moving in a close cluster represented the vascular muscle, while one separate girl in a white dress was the body.
Her interaction with various members of the group was a stunning picture of the relationship between the human spirit and its physical manifestation, and the reliance each has on the other.
However, some choreographers chose to tell a more political tale.
Senior dance major Danielle Koblinski’s “Americans in Waiting” piece was a performance art flavor and used bright green alien masks and other props to relate the struggle of immigrants in the United States.
At regular intervals, the work was punctuated by the choreographer’s recorded voice stating myths about the immigrant population as well as statistical refutations.
She also used Biblical quotes and a somewhat altered Pledge of Allegiance, with key words left unspoken.
It was certainly a keen reminder that in the land of the free, some among us are not.
While this was aimed at a certain issue, the work had a broader message of acceptance and understanding towards all people.
Koblinski wanted the vibrant alien masks to be a centerpiece of the work.
“I just wanted to show how ridiculous the term ‘alien’ really is when it’s applied to immigrants,” Koblinski said.
“There’s only a small geographical distance separating citizens from non-citizens, and yet they’re perceived so differently.”
Senior dance major Erica Henderson was the only other dancer in the work and was very affected by helping to create such a relevant expression of feeling.
“I don’t want to be in aimless pieces and doing aimless motions anymore,” Henderson said.
“Dancing to spread a message really made this work an experience.”
The message was certainly seen in both the emotive dancing and the performing arts aspects of “Americans in Waiting.”
“Opus,” a more formal dance exhibition put on by School of Theatre and Dance will feature some of these pieces and more at 7:30 p.m. on March 28 at the Barnevelder Theater.
For more information, please call (713) 409-2838 or visit www.uh.edu/class/theatre-and-dance/.