From Wednesday, April 10 to Saturday, April 13, the Spring Dance Show titled “The Female Body” was home to emotive, storytelling dances. This show was directed by Professor of Dance Kimani Fowlin, and the dances were choreographed by the Choreography and Performance class. Due to the fact that the Thomas H. Kean Theatre in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts is a small, intimate space, the audience was able to receive an up-close look at the dancers and vividly observe their physical expressions during the show.
These captivating performances were rich with symbolism and presented multiple important themes relevant to the female body. These themes included references to sexuality, self-harm, suicide, personal and physical growth, mental health, eating disorders, domestic violence and even alluded to the role of religion. The show was broken up into two acts, with musical interludes occurring between approximately every two performances. Some performance titles included Queer Bodies, Your Arms, Mirrors, Bona Fide and We’re Stronger Together.
COURTESY OF LYNNE DELADE
Among these performances, one dance titled Exposed/Stripped highlighted body dysmorphia, and more specifically self-harm and eating disorders. It was clear throughout this piece just how immersed the dancers were in each moment. Their passion was reflected on their faces and in each of their movements. Laura Bertrand (‘22) described just how it felt to perform the piece Exposed/Stripped, “Because the message of this piece affects so many, I wanted to do the dance justice by making every moment have meaning behind it and leave everything I had on the stage,” she stated. “The goal was to connect with every person in the audience, including those personally affected by body dysmorphia as well as those who have never experienced it so that we can provide support and understanding for those in pain.”
Throughout all of the pieces in this show, it was powerful messages like these that the dancers imparted upon the audience. Near the end of the show, people were audibly discussing the raw emotions they themselves felt while bearing witness to the show. To add to this, many even said they cried because of how much the dancers, the performances and the music moved them. This show left people chatting about the rollercoaster of emotions they felt after it ended.