In a school full of dance troupes and collectives, two juniors, Samantha Melvin and Ruby Barry, wish to break the mold with their brand new modern dance group: Collective Motion.
This weekend, the eleven student dancers in Collective Motion will perform their debut, “Miss You Later,” a show blending dance with the spoken word. According to Melvin and Barry, the group, which was founded in January, exists to provide a fun environment for a community of dancers, one in which collaboration is encouraged and respected. It also strives to represent dance as a genre of performing arts.
“Miss You Later” consists of six separate dance pieces based around one idea. The title of the performance refers to struggling with solitude and group identity.
“I don’t miss you right now because you’re with me, but when I’m alone I’ll wish we were still together,” Melvin explained.
The performance investigates the tension involved when people struggle to find a balance between being alone and reaching out to others, as well as how individuals can belong to multiple groups.
“It’s trying to connect with people around you and being stuck in your head,” Barry said.
The guiding thematic concept of “Miss You Later” does not just ensure cohesiveness throughout the show, but is also easy to relate to.
“Dance can be very abstract, so we tried not to do that,” Barry said.
In fact, to further the unity of the show and the group as a whole, no individual dancer created any of the dances. Instead, members of the group worked on each of the pieces together, in collaboration.
The fact that the show’s choreography was a collaborative effort sets Collective Motion apart from most other dance groups on campus. Barry explained that, with other dance groups in which she’s been involved, dancers will either teach or be taught choreography. Thus, most dancers are usually not involved with the choreography process.
Though this cooperative process can be less efficient, Melvin felt that the outcome was definitely worth the challenge.
“There are a ton of groups out there that assign one person to choreograph and teach a dance, and it always works well,” said Melvin. “But we were really excited to do something different by giving everyone the opportunity to contribute.”
The contributions of the various dancers resulted in what is sure to be an exciting collection of dances.
“We have a pretty broad range of styles and backgrounds among the members,” Melvin said.
Incredibly, the entire performance came together in six weeks, and the dancers are eager to show what they’ve been working on.
Miss You Later will be held at 8 p.m. in the WestCo Café on both Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31. The event is free and unticketed.