Dancing through life’s stages

The APO dance concert, So It Goes, was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s novel “Slaughterhouse Five.”

By Valis Vicenty

Dance is more than a skill — it’s about telling a story or presenting an idea in a language that anyone can understand, no matter where they come from. Alpha Psi Omega is looking to reach as many people as possible with So It Goes, its annual dance concert, the theme of which was inspired by an aspect of Kurt Vonnegut’s sci-fi war novel “Slaughterhouse Five.”
“The main character is detached from time and visits all of these moments in his life, and we called it So It Goes because of every time he time-travels,” said Melanie Licata, a junior theater major and co-director of the show. “It’s taking everyone through an entire human life — start to finish — and you’re just visiting all of these moments, and they are other people’s moments but they’re shared experiences.”

The audience will be able to recognize and identify with any or all the 20 different “marvelous moments” in a human life to be seen at one time, from birth to death and everything in between, with a large cast that plays many different characters throughout the show.

“I’m a monster. I’m the mother of the bride. I’m a sculpture,” said junior theater major Monica McCaffery about her list of characters. “Some of them are little bits and pieces here and there.”

Different styles of dance are blended together throughout the pieces that many of the dancers have collaborated on.

“There’s some interpretive, there’s structured movement,” said sophomore business major and stage manager Kaitlyn Anderson. “People in our cast have brought in hip-hop and other stuff. So it’s a good mix of different types of dances.”

The surprising thing is that most of the dancers have limited or no training and are really relying on their acting skills to portray their characters throughout the show. They have been allowed to choreograph some of their own pieces for the show.

“[Licata and I] choreographed seven different dances and then we left the cast to choreograph the rest,” said Tom Smallwood, a junior finance major and co-director of the show. “There are dance majors, math majors, science majors, theater majors. It’s heavy on acting a lot of the time, so the most time was actually given to that.”

Many of the dancers participating were inspired to try out from seeing the concert over the past few years and are excited to be involved with the broad theme.

“I saw the show and immediately wanted to be a part of it,” said Ali Haugh, a junior elementary education and theater major. “It was such a great experience.”

Everyone involved believes that there is a little something for all audience members to enjoy and reflect on in their own lives.

“I really want them to be able to connect and understand because we’re telling a story and we’re touching these points that are going to relate to some more than others,” said junior theater major Rusty Miller. “I’m hoping somebody will just connect and just feel they can relate to what we’re telling them and have a good time.”

Performances will be tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Yvonne Theater. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.

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