Unnatural acts: Modern dancers showcase raw talent in fall student concert

This past weekend, the department of modern dance held its fall student concert, “not natural in an age like this,” exposing talent so raw that it didn’t always call for clothing.

Student choreographer Lindsey Drury created a solo piece titled “This is a Man:” for one man wearing nothing more than boots and a dance belt.

Throughout the piece, a computerized female voice was giving constant narration, asking such questions as, “Who is this man?,” “Where did he come from?,” “Is he single?” and “Do you like his boots?”

The narration was interspersed with sporadic interjections of commands for the man, such as “Jump,” “Squat” and “Fall,” which the dancer immediately followed and precisely executed. His movements were quick and concise, with repeated gestures appearing mechanically identical, suggesting that perhaps this was not just any man, but an engineered model of the ideal human form.

While Drury’s “This is a Man:” presented a dancer stripped of everything but himself, the piece “Hangman” presented four dancers working closely with one another and with the large bands of elastic that bound them together.

Serving as both a partnering device and a prop, the elastic created a contrasting visual display of crisp, white lines intertwining throughout the dancers and their draped black costumes.

The choreography required each of the four women to be highly aware of the positioning of the elastic and what it was doing at all times. They had to dance with it, around it, inside of it and against it all at once.

Other pieces included Brittany Anne Gadbury’s “Bury the Stop,” a quirky duet set to music by the Beastie Boys, as well as a dance on film with choreography by Laurel Lakey and Ambrosia Tuft.

Nov. 17 through 19, 10 new student works were presented, each of which offered a fresh and individual take on modern dance choreography.

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