Alpha Psi Omega dances the night away

By Julie Morcate

For this year’s Alpha Psi Omega dance concert, Opposites Attract: It’s a Love Hate Thing, directors Kim Vogel and Nikki Wittenburg came up with a provocative puzzle: whether love and hate are truly opposites.

“At the beginning you’re sure of which dances are love and which are hate, but by the end of the show you can’t really tell which is which,” said Vogel, a junior business honors major with a theater minor.

The directors wanted to expose the similarities between love and hate and break the misconceptions around them.

“We have this theory that love and hate are not opposites: They’re both highly passionate emotions,” said Wittenberg, a sophomore English and theater major with an arts administration minor. “We want to show that the opposite of love and hate is indifference.”

As with every other Alpha Psi Omega dance concert, this show is completely student choreographed. However, this year’s concert is different from last year’s because the theme calls for more creative interpretation.

“When we had auditions in December, we told everyone to be as creative as possible,” Vogel said. “Even some of the best dancers didn’t make the cut — it was the most creative people that did.”

Although the best part of the show, in Wittenberg’s opinion, is the unlimited creativity, she admits that it has its downside.

“Since the theme is based on concepts, not well-known stories, sometimes it may be a little ambiguous or difficult for the audience to understand,” she said.

Still, many participants emphasized that the originality of the dance concert is worth the trouble.

“There’s a level of creativity and an opportunity to have input that you don’t have much of in other shows,” senior Erin Ludwig said.

Over 30 songs, including interludes, are incorporated into the show. The majority of the performers also choreographed their own unique dance numbers.

“Everyone was given the opportunity to create a dance; we just looked at the dance and made sure it was appropriate and fit the theme,” said Wittenberg.

Getting to choreograph for the first time was senior Michele Danna’s favorite part of the production.

“It was harder than I thought, but really fun,” she said. “What’s cool is I’m not a dancer, but I get to dance.”

Another senior, Greg Binder, has been involved with the dance concerts every year of his Rider career. While he started out freshman year as a house manager, he has been dancing since sophomore year and is responsible for the complicated sound editing of the many song clips included in the dance concert.

Binder, the self-acclaimed comic relief of the show, believes the best aspect is that in every dance everyone can express individuality.

“Even if you can’t dance as well as others can, you can still develop your own individual character,” he commented.

Vogel, who directed Alpha Psi Omega’s rendition of Live! With Alpha Psi, It’s Saturday Night! last semester and has participated in the dance concerts since she was a freshman, said that this was one of the hardest shows to direct.

“More time goes into it than anyone could ever imagine,” she said. “But the best aspect of the show is seeing it all come together.”

Freshman Brian Long, who also choreographed a dance of his own, agreed.

“The toughest part about being in this is that rehearsals can go until really late at night,” he said. “It’s tiring, but ultimately rewarding.”

Danna reported one more personal gripe.

“Practices are sometimes frustrating because I’m not a dancer,” she said. “I haven’t danced since I was a kid. But you have to just learn it and do it.”

Everyone involved in this and other dance concerts testifies that despite all of the hard work, all of the practices, preparations and long rehearsals, in the end it’s satisfying.

“One day, it just snaps and comes together, and you realize everything was worth it,” Binder affirmed.

“We have a great cast,” said Vogel. “The show is going to be interesting.”

Opposites Attract: It’s a Love Hate Thing will be showing tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. in the Yvonne Theatre. General Admission Tickets are $5 at the door.

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