The Oberlin Review

Senior Dance Students Impress with Creative Performances

Senior Dance Students Impress with Creative Performances

November 16, 2018

This past weekend saw the presentation of incredible senior shows from two Dance majors. I sat down with Tian Yoon Teh to talk about Embrace Me: A Dance Opera, and will share my personal perspective from working tech on Teddy Ment’s Nova. To create Embrace Me, the first of the evening’s shows, Yoon Teh took on an ambitious pre-production process that included storyboarding, which began last semester, a variety of experimental explorations, and finally a nine-week production schedule. “In t...

Acrobatic Conundrum Soars OCircus! to New Heights

Teague Harvey

November 9, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Arts, Dance, Theater & Film

In 2004, Terry Crane graduated from Oberlin College with a Dance and Environmental Studies major. The following year, he auditioned at École nationale de cirque in Montreal — which is arguably the most famous circus school in the world. He went on to lead a very successful solo aerial rope career, touring with various circuses around Europe, before settling back home in Seattle to found his own circus company, Acrobatic Conundrum. In 2007–2008, after Terry had graduated, OCircus! was founded by an adventurous group of students, and soon Oberlin became known for the club. In the past week alone, I’ve been put in touch with two prospies who wanted to talk about it. Even though OCircus! came after Terry’s...

Oberlin Dance Department Celebrates its Ranking Among Nation’s Top 25 Programs

Oberlin Dance Department Celebrates its Ranking Among Nation’s Top 25 Programs

October 5, 2018

In my junior year of high school, my lifelong dance teacher told me that she hoped there was a strong dance program wherever I chose to go to college, because she was sure I would miss it. I nodded politely, sure she was wrong. During my college search, I barely considered dance — and yet, I spent much of my first semester at Oberlin rapturously watching dance, writing about dance, and fangirling over the pieces being created here and the amazing dancers doing the creating. When I began to...

Video Highlights Womyn of Color on Campus

Video Highlights Womyn of Color on Campus

September 7, 2018

Much of Oberlin student activism centers on promoting racial equality. However, no matter how much effort is put into making the school a more inclusive space, many students struggle in navigating certain aspects of Oberlin simply because they are Black at a predominantly white institution. Kiéla Nelson, OC ’18, recently addressed this issue on August 15th, when she released “Nice 4 What,” a music video soundtracked by Drake’s “Nice for What” that featured Oberlin womyn and femmes...

Female, Trans, Femme Dance Group Throws Back with PowerPuff Girls

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

May 11, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Dance

POC Powerpuff Girls performing hip-hop to the tunes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna is the perfect end to a gruelling semester at Oberlin. AndWhat!?, Oberlin’s hip-hop dance group for female, trans and femme identifying students, will be performing their spring show “AndWhat!? Presents: Powerpuff Girls Remixed” on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. For those unfamiliar with The Powerpuff Girls, the theme refers to the Cartoon Network show that premiered in 1992 and featured three female superhero sisters who protect their town from crime. Rather than showcasing masculine superwomen, the show was surprisingly progressive for its time, illustrating feminine characters who kick ass — a perfect ...

Varsity Contact Class Highlights Improv Dance in “One Breath”

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

May 4, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Dance

Amidst Monday’s rehearsal for Oberlin Dance Company’s upcoming show, College sophomore Georgie Johnson ran up to College junior Gabrielle Ment. Both made a show of a common exercise for starting out lifts in contact improvisation — breathing the arms up and then sweeping them down for momentum — before Johnson launched onto Ment’s shoulders and spiraled in the air, lifted by her partner, spreading her limbs wide and grinning even wider. They spun like a human top. Smiles like that are one striking aspect of the Varsity Contact class performance in “One Breath: An Evening of Stillness and Motion.” It makes sense that this would punctuate the practice — contact is wordless, while also completely improvise...

“Tap Project” Explores History of Tap Dance

“Tap Project” Explores History of Tap Dance

April 13, 2018

Chandler Browne’s senior capstone The Tap Project is a documentary play about the oral history of tap dancing, especially in Black and American contexts. A part of the Posse Foundation’s “Posse 8” Program — outstanding, diverse high school students recruited to study at Oberlin — Browne’s one-woman show is mentored and directed by Professor of Africana Studies and Chair of Theater Caroline Jackson-Smith. “Somewhere over the last two years, [Browne] decided that she would like to build t...

Student Dance Showcase Provides Space for Diversity

Victoria Albacete, Production Manager

April 13, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Dance

It’s hard to believe that Oberlin’s Student Dance Showcase first appeared only six years ago, given the campus staple it has since become. Now one of the most well-attended student dance performances each semester, the showcase — which will present its spring 2018 iteration this weekend — is a space for student dance groups of any and every type to spotlight their hard work, talent, and enthusiastic energy for friends, family, and other students and faculty. Previous to the 2012 creation of Student Dance Showcase, student dancers and choreographers were limited to auditioning for Dance department-sponsored performances Spring Back and Fall Forward, which required dance faculty approval, or participation in t...

Spring Back Reimagines Choreography

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

April 6, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Recent Stories

Every year, Oberlin’s Dance department hosts two faculty-directed shows: Fall Forward and Spring Back, which usually play out in a more-or-less traditional program in Warner Main Space. This year’s Spring Back breaks from this mold, as it will have no set stage. Instead, guides will lead audience members all through Warner Gymnasium. Beginning in Warner Main Space, where three of the concert’s pieces will be performed, the show will bring audiences to three pieces on the first floor, two more in the basement, and back again. There are only 50 tickets sold per night due to these restricted and innovative spaces, and upon arrival, viewers will be split into three groups, each of which will have a different experience of...

Ballet Oberlin Show Reimagines Classic Family Film

Ballet Oberlin Show Reimagines Classic Family Film

December 8, 2017

In the history of Western ballet, some characters stick out as emblematic of the genre — Giselle, Odette and Odile, the nutcracker, to name a few. Then again, some roles — like Hiccup, Toothless, Ruffnut, Tuffnut, and Green Death — have likely never been performed in a ballet until this weekend, when Ballet Oberlin’s production of How to Train Your Dragon: The Ballet opened in Wilder Main Space. The show ran on Friday and Saturday, debuting an original choreography in an adaptation of the...

Fall Forward Highlights Vulnerability, Dynamism in Student Dance

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

November 10, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Recent Stories

What comes out of a showcase of auditioned dance works with no theme or specified criteria other than a vision, a faculty advisor, and the ability to be performance-ready by a certain date? Last week, from Nov. 2–4, the 2017 Fall Forward performance featured eight pieces — seven student-choreographed and one by a faculty member — that answered this question with dynamism, variety, artistry, and integrity. “It was a lovely group of students,” Director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez said. “It was a delight to sort of shepherd it forward. It was very satisfying to see the growth that happened from auditions to rough run to technology to the performance.” While the pieces explored diverse idea...

Bransah Performs Black Lives Matter-Inspired Choreography

Bransah Performs Black Lives Matter-Inspired Choreography

September 29, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of anti-Black violence. In Warner Main Space, dancer Kweku Bransah took the stage with a noose around his neck, wearing a suit and one clown shoe, to perform Robin Prichard’s “The Art of Making Dances {Not About Ferguson},” a dance interpretation of his narrative as an African American man in today’s political climate. While the piece was performed for Oberlin students and faculty on Tuesday, it has existed for some time. The dance was cho...

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