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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

From Bilbo Baggins to bumble bees, EDB explores with grace

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With an overflowing audience on opening night, Experimental Dance Board, EDB, performed both their Friday and Saturday night shows to a packed Weitz dance studio. The performance consisted of 13 different dances and approximately 45 different dancers.

Sixth weekend’s event was the second show put on by EDB this year. Formed with the mission of creating a student-run organization that gives Carleton students a unique chance to choreograph or dance with a fully produced show, EDB accepts dancers and choreographers alike from a variety of dance backgrounds.

This diversity of experience levels was apparent among the dancers in the show. While everyone who performed danced with passion and intention, dancers with technical backgrounds or large amounts of experience were obvious to this untrained eye.

The root of diversity among the choreographers, apparent to the audience, was not the level of expertise but the assortment of creative visions. With everything from a dance inspired by the Lord of the Rings to a parody of children playing, the show offered a variety of dance styles and moods.

This kept the show engaging throughout the 90-minute performance and when one dance lacked intrigue, the next offered a complete transition. The ordering of the program highlighted this range of dance extremely well by constantly shifting tempos, moods, and even colored lighting.

The one word I would use to describe the show, despite its apparent irony, would be experimental. One dance, “Tolkien’s Ents,” was a personal favorite that used reading from J.R.R. Tolkien for the majority of the piece instead of traditional music. By keeping the audience members focused on the narration, each movement associated perfectly with a word or phrase, not a note or rhythm. While perhaps a bit unconventional, the idea played well in this setting and perfectly encapsulated the infamous childhood favorite.

Another dance featured only one dancer: Kate Cieslowski ’15. Throughout the piece, she would pull a magic marker from her neatly kept bun and write something on her skin. Admittedly, I could not read what she wrote in those brief moments of heavy breathing and anticipation, but her raw emotion played out well on the stage and her movements entranced this viewer for the entire three-minute piece.

While not every dance’s meaning was evident to this audience member, the strength of the collective group of dancers was their ability to capture the emotions hidden in each piece. Whether through facial expressions or rigidity of movements, seeing each individual’s interpretation of the piece was my favorite part of the night.

Most of my criticisms of the performance were too trivial and unimportant to mention. The only sizable complainant about the evening was the show’s lack of range in size of dances. There was only one dance with more than six people and I would have liked it if the show had contained a few larger dances.

Having said that, if the next EDB show is the same quality as this one, I will be excited to watch their next performance. The overall show was high energy, entertaining, and a nice change of pace from Carleton’s usual arts events.

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