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Ohio State dancers step into ‘shifting silhouettes’

From right: Stephanie Kramer, Callie Lacinski, Erica Jackson, Stephanie Cichy, Rachel Hube and Megan Blackburn perform a piece called ‘Pretty Hurts,’ choreographed by Jackson. Credit: Leisa DeCarlo / Lantern reporter

From right: Stephanie Kramer, Callie Lacinski, Erica Jackson, Stephanie Cichy, Rachel Hube and Megan Blackburn perform a piece called ‘Pretty Hurts,’ choreographed by Jackson.
Credit: Leisa DeCarlo / Lantern reporter

One student group was leaping in the shadows over the weekend.

Student organization Dance Connection held its biannual performance, with Saturday’s performance at the Ohio Union entitled “Shifting Silhouettes.”

The almost two-hour show comprised 18 dances, each choreographed and performed by Dance Connection members. The dances used silhoutting as a metaphorical theme rather than a visual aesthetic, and were danced to popular songs such as “Crumb Love” by Echocell and “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child — represented a sort of journey for the dancers, said president Stephanie Cichy, a fourth-year in communication.

“The silhouette of the dancer moves both physically and emotionally through space and across the stage in varying positions set to varying songs,” Cichy said. “There is a wide array of emotions that are explored through each of our pieces, and we felt that this name really encapsulated the journey we experience as dancers through our performance.”

Interlaced with short video clips that provided the audience with insight into the rehearsal process, the “Shifting Silhouettes” performance marked the first without any founding executive board members from Dance Connection, which was established five years ago. It was a shift that current members said has been both daunting and rewarding.

“I feel like it’s like not having my mom around,” said Ashley Montecalvo, Dance Connection’s vice president of performance and a fourth-year in public health. “I think we adjusted well.”

Three weekend bake sales on High Street paid for the costuming and marketing of the “Shifting Silhouettes” performance, said Dance Connection’s fundraising coordinator Cortni Haggerty, a third-year in biology. Dance Connection also receives funding through the Office of Student Life, Dance Connection membership fees and donations collected at the organization’s biannual performances, Cichy said.

The members of Dance Connection are connected by their passion and commitment, which has made transferring to a new executive board feasible, Cichy said.

In multiple pieces of the “Shifting Silhouettes” performance, the dancers ran across the stage, each individual body caught in a flurry of movement filling the space until they reached their mark on the floor within a horizontal or diagonal line. One dancer thrust an arm or a leg forward, sending what seemed to be an invisible force through each member of the cast, rippling movement from one dancer’s body to the next until it traveled through the entirety of the diagonal.

Cichy said Dance Connection members strive to trigger a similar ripple effect to their audience members, creating an appreciation for dance.

“Dance Connection strives to share the love of dance with anyone willing to receive it,” Cichy wrote in the performance program. “Dance Connection is prepared to continue spreading the love of dance for years to come.”

The show ended with a final production piece with a Walt Disney theme, which included music from “Frozen” and “The Lion King,” with choreography that recreated the famous presentation of newborn Simba atop Pride Rock. As the vice president of performance, Montecalvo said that this decision was intentional to share dance through something that audiences members would recognize and relate to.

“I think that it’s important to share dance and expose dance,” Montecalvo said.

Dance Connection membership coordinator Hannah Gillespie, a third-year in speech and hearing science, agreed.

“Dance is something so universal. People can watch it and just have fun,” Gillespie said. “The show is a wide variety, so it’s easy to find at least one dance you’ll be interested in.”

Dance Connection is comprised of 55 members, including 19 new members who were welcomed after auditions that were held in August, Cichy said in an email.

But the shared passion for dance among Dance Connection members makes the organization more like a family, Montecalvo said.

“I feel like dancers are very similar, so it’s nice to have a group that understands you,” she said.

Overall, Cichy said her experience in Dance Connection has enriched her time at OSU.

“Dance (Connection) was the perfect opportunity for me to continue pursuing my passion for dance and to have the chance to perform while in college. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful student organization as an integral part of my Ohio State experience,” Cichy said.

Both an afternoon and evening performance of the “Shifting Silhouettes” program were held in the Ohio Union Performance Hall on Saturday. Dance Connection performances are free to any student with an OSU BuckID.

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