By Patrick Burke, staff writer
As ashamed as I may be to admit it, I have never once seen or even considered seeing the Illinois Wesleyan University Student Choreographed Dance Concert. While I often attend theatrical and musical productions around campus, I never found myself interested in SCDC. That being said, my first concert did not disappoint.
SCDC is, as its name implies, a student choreographed and student organized dance concert. The dance concert has been an Illinois Wesleyan tradition since 1991, making this year’s performance the 22nd annual SCDC. The concert gives students a unique opportunity to demonstrate their dancing and choreography skills, and all are welcome to audition.
This year, SCDC was held at the Hansen Student Center on Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27. All in attendance were treated to a variety of dancing performances, from classically-styled ballet to hip hop.
I was originally unsure of what to expect from the dance concert. I recognized a few names from various theater and musical performances, but, for the most part, the names on the page were new to me. This was not by any means a bad thing.
In fact, I was incredibly impressed with the talent these dancers and choreographers demonstrated.
Among others, one of my favorite pieces was “Mahna Mahna.” Adapting the famous Muppet song into dance, the piece featured a quartet comically tap dancing to the beloved music of the Muppets. Despite the silliness inherent in the inspiration, all of the moves appeared to be very complicated and well-rehearsed.
Another piece that I particularly enjoyed was the second dance, “What Gets Left Over.” Starkly contrasting the first dance, this was a darker, slower piece. Utilizing violent motions, this specific dance stood out as unique amongst the rest.
My personal favorite was the Finale. Portrayed as a dance off, the entire number was exciting and intense from start to finish.
Much like most musical performances go, pacing is crucial for dance concerts. Luckily, this year’s SCDC managed to blend lighthearted, faster paced pieces with slower, more emotional ones.
For instance, the concert opened with the energetic and fun “Spunky Love,” which successfully roused the audience. Following this happier, innocent school-romance piece was “What Gets Left Over,” an interpretive dance centered on the theme of losing your safety net as the situation around you beings to fall apart. This sort of ordering allowed the concert to flow, being neither overly heavy nor unsatisfyingly peppy.
While the dances were all exciting to watch, many of them were difficult to see from anywhere but the front row. Being four rows back, I could not see all of the dancing, especially when the dancers would get on the ground.
Additionally, because the dancers used the entire stage, certain sections of each piece were also obscured. Perhaps if the area had been slightly elevated or the seating was somehow staggered, the audience may have been able to see more of the dancers.
I also felt that the ten minute intermission was rather unnecessary. With such a short production, the intermission only slowed down the concert as a whole. I understand the desire to put in an intermission, as it gives the dancers extra time to change costumes and set up, but ten minutes was rather lengthy for a concert that was only fifty minutes with the time of intermission included.
Despite these small flaws, SCDC was a fantastic dance concert. The music and choreography were all outstanding, and, if you weren’t able to make it to either performance, make sure to schedule time for next year’s concert. You won’t be disappointed.