Like the sun rises and sets, the Terpsichore dance show comes faithfully every semester, and it’s always a pleasure. It predictably sells out days before the performances and still has a large crowd swarming around the large windows of the World Music Hall during every show, hoping for a peek inside at the dancers. But just because Terpsichore (referred to by all involved as “Terp”) is as dependable as a rock doesn’t mean it fails to excite and wow audiences every semester. Also, if you haven’t been to the Friday 10 p.m. Terp show, affectionately nicknamed “The Drunk Show” (that’s the audience, not the dancers), you should definitely get there before you graduate because you’d be missing out on a classic Wesleyan experience. I would know first hand, since I was actually in the Terp performance this semester (as well as last semester… and last fall). Of course, my reporting on all these other dances is completely objective, and who better to write this article than someone who was actually there the whole time? You can make your own judgment on this one. What follows is a description of each and every dance in the show, so now all you people who didn’t buy a ticket a week in advance can (almost) experience the glory of Terp.
This year, the show opens with “What a Fun, Sexy Time For You,” choreographed by Taylor Sander ’12 and dancers to the theme song from a childhood favorite, “Space Jam.” The dance has everyone in workout gear, jumping around and generally having fun. There’s partner-work, a basketball section, and lots of butt-slapping. The opening lines of the song are especially apt and set everyone up to enjoy not only the dance but the rest of the show: “Everybody get up—it’s time to slam now.”
And “time to slam” it certainly is, as Ally Axelrad ’14 and sophomore Sam Sontag’s dance, “Defunct,” is up next. Set to “Too Late to Apologize” by OneRepublic, this hard-hitting modern dance pulls no punches. And it features lifts! While dancers twirl and leap center-stage, there are some very impressive feats of strength performed by Andy Ribner ’14 and Sontag as they pick up and dance with Min Suh ’15 and Axelrad respectively.
“An Introduction” by Matt Carney ’13 and dancers, while third in the program, is an actual introduction to the talents of all these dancers. A fast-paced hip hop number, the piece is marked by sharp isolations and quick, effective movements. Though it looks incredibly complicated, the dancers manage it with ease and what looks like a great sense of the beat of the music.
A break from the two more serious dancers before it, “Run the World (Girls),” set to the Beyoncé song of the same name, is a fabulous, flamboyant break. All the dancers are outfitted in feathered caplets and show so much attitude. One of my favorite moments of the dance is when all six females dancers frame and gesture to the one male dancer, Lucas McLaughlin ’15, on the lyric “Who run the world? Girls.”
“I Can Only Imagine Blowin’ Up Like a Boss with Mrs. Right” by AoFC is the next number. A playful hip-hop dance, the performance features seven members of the group showcasing their impressive dance skills as well as their senses of humor. But what exactly is AoFC?
“We’re just friends that dance,” said Sam Choi ’12. They just decided to call themselves AoFC.
“It stands for nothing,” Choi laughed.
Immediately after intermission follows a rather theatrical piece called “Dracula’s Wedding,” choreographed by Clara Peretz ’14, Nick Petrillo ’14, and Liza Pine ’14. The dancers, wearing ripped and “bloodied” white t-shirts and sporting impressive zombie-esque face paint, enact an undead wedding. A coffin is involved. Gabe Frankel ’15 and Madeline Kidd ’14 actually get inside of it.
Continuing the supernatural theme, “Big Black Cauldron: A Lyrical Dance in Seven Parts” is a Harry Potter-themed dance by Ana Alvarado ’12 and Brittni Zotos ’12. Costumed in glasses and lightning bolt foreheads, the dancers even act out a wizarding duel at one point. They use giant glowsticks as wands and shouted spells at one another.
An homage to everyone’s favorite hot mess, “Dan¢e” by Sara Bonilla ’12 is set to “Your Love Is My Drug” by Ke$ha. All dressed like different versions of the pop star, the dancers perform intricate yet still fun and (most of the time) suggestive movements. The dance ends with Sarah Schorr ’12 and Taylor Sander ’12 spinning in a circle and giggling to the sound of Ke$ha mumbling, “I like your beard.”
Following that, Rob “Mojo Jerome” Kipp ’12 and Tresne “Cray-Cray Jerome” Hernandez ’12 (as listed in the program) really pulled out all the stops with their final dance at Wesleyan, a robotic, color-blocked routine. With their trademark goofy expressions and intricate moves, the duo’s dance has been likened to Super Mario. One of the many highlights was when the dancers are bopped on the head, fall limp, and then get carried offstage, to be replaced by another dancer.
“Womp for Your Life,” a half-hip-hop, half-ballet hybrid dance choreographed by Annie deBoer ’12 and Heidi Ransohoff ’12 to Kanye West’s “Lost in the World,” was a smorgasbord of tutus, metallic spandex, and breakdancing. There were three groups of dancers: hip-hop dancers (marked by their spandex leggings), ballet dancers (wearing tutus), and breakdancers (who had their own short section of the dance, choreographed by and featuring Marco Martinez ’15). Opening on one single ballerina (Sarah La Rue ’12), the dance ends in every dancer—and there were 23 of them—“womping” towards the audience. As always, the show closed with a dance routine by the Terp Core itself, the organizers of the whole show. These immensely talented dancers did not disappoint this semester, performing a wonderful, lyrical dance to a cover of “Addicted to Love” by Florence and the Machine. A particular highlight of the dance was when all the members of the Core line up and begin doing some jerky ballet movements, only to deconstruct them one by one and spin out on to the rest of the floor.
Thus, this semester’s round of the Terp show ended. While predictably good, the performances are never predictable.