The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Hope Show features alumni choreography

Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus
Meadows dancers converge on stage for the third act, “Choose Me,” featuring Albert Drake and Jasmine Black as lovers, torn by circumstance.

Meadows dancers converge on stage for the third act, “Choose Me,” featuring Albert Drake and Jasmine Black as lovers, torn by circumstance. (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

SMU’s Meadows Performing Arts Department opened its Fall Dance Concert on Wednesday in the Bob Hope Theatre.

The concert is an annual showcase that allows Meadows dancers to display a mix of athleticism, grace and impressive choreography that has been honed over years of dedication.

The first piece, titled “Hanging Outside of Town,” features dancers Carolyn Robbins and Sophi Siragusa in harnesses fastened to rock climbing ropes.

This very interesting, modern routine shows off the dancers’ athleticism, as they twirl themselves around midair, careful not to entangle themselves in each other’s lines.

The next piece is titled “Silver and Gold” and features dancers Julie Kaye and Harry Feril locked in a relationship of back and forth.

The dancers literally push and pull each other around the stage in this sensual performance giving the audience a sense of their struggle.

The compelling partnership between Kaye and Feril can be mesmerizing because it seems to represent a lot of what relationships are like today.

The concert’s third act, “Choose Me,” is comprised of three parts, but the first section might be the smoothest performance in the show.

In the performance, Albert Drake is surrounded by beautiful dancers who seemingly long for him.

But out of the shadows comes Jasmine Black, and it is her whom Drake chooses.

The two dance on stage with elegance and grace, almost dancing as one and never straying too far from each other.

The couple’s chemistry is easily seen. As good as the ensemble dancers are, it’s hard to focus on anything else but the love story going on center stage.

“The Fall,” featuring Drake and Amanda Owen, starts off with Drake leaning up against a huge white wall. As he starts to dance to a jazzy selection Owen comes out to meet him.

The two are highly synchronized, mimicking each other’s moves almost perfectly while staying close to the wall.

As the mood of the performance changes, an apple rolls across the stage, only to be picked up and eaten by Owen.

Drake is hesitant at first and fends off Owen’s begging of him to take a bite as well.

But he eventually gives in and, on his knees, eats the apple with Owen across from him.

The act becomes darker and is surely a representation of the fall of Adam and Eve.

The two start to despair, and ends with them realizing the gravity of what they’ve done.

The show continues with undoubtedly the most light-hearted, and upbeat act titled “Shuffle.”

Two men, Feril and Aaron Kozak, compete for a woman’s (Sophi Siragusa’s) attention while dancing to an Italian man’s singing.

As the two try to out dance each other, Sophi moves from chair to chair, pretending to ignore them both.

Eventually Feril wins out, as Siragusa starts to dance with him, leaving Kozak to watch from afar. Feril and Siragusa are very graceful as they dance with each other but are cut short by Kozak, as he takes center stage backed by the vocals of James Brown and the song “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.”

Aaron definitely shows the audience why Siragusa should’ve chosen him instead as his smooth dance matches perfectly with his song.

The next act is called “The Hand of Man Before the Hand of God,” and opens with Jasmine White Killlens singing “Go TellIt on the Mountain” beautifully while hand-signaling her lyrics.

But the act soon changes pace when dancers clad in beautiful pink dresses start to come from behind the curtains, crying out to God, pleading with him, spurning him and praying to him.

The dance is sad, leaving the audience with a sense that the performers have been abandoned. The performance is heartfelt and is one of the most impressive of the night.

Audience members get to see two SMU graduates in action as Elizabeth Bragg and Lee Duveneck perform in the next act.

The performance takes us back to the 1930s judging by how the two are dressed, but it’s the creepy, haunting music that shows through most.

As the music plays, the two dancers move and sway with precision.

Lee is able to lift Elizabeth up with ease as she dances around her companion. But as the act ends, it’s hard to understand the overall meaning of the performance.

The Fall Dance Concert concludes with the final act titled “Etched.”

It begins with mechanical-like grinding sounds and dancers including Kaitlyn McDermitt, Julie Kaye and Constance Dolph, leap and move around stage in a confined, highly choreographed manner.

As the sound becomes more musical, more dancers, including Ellie Blanchat, Emily Perry and Matthew Walfish, come on stage and form a line that soon disperses allowing for a brief, free-for-all dance that goes well with the mood.

All the dancers come back together to form a highly synchronized mob that hops to the beat, pulling back quirky members that literally get out of line.

While the music may not have been overly compelling for the last act, the performance itself is great and serves as a solid anchor to a very impressive fall dance showcase.

The Fall Concert goes until Sunday and tickets range from $7 to $13. 

Albert Drake and Amanda Owen perform “The Fall.” (Spencer J Eggers/The Daily Campus)

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