The Oberlin Review

Bill Callahan Serenades ’Sco

Chris Herndon

May 10, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance

In an early stop on his first tour since 2011, veteran folk crooner Bill Callahan brought his baritone to the Dionysus Disco on Saturday, May 4. After an opening performance by tap dancer Flat Foot, Callahan rambled through 11 songs with a mastery that could have only been honed over his two decades of work. Opener Flat Foot’s act took place on a wooden platform on the floor in front of the ’Sco stage. The dancer, a small, scantily clad woman, performed with accompanying playback of four songs and an original track composed of tap and vocal loops. Beginning with Judy Garland’s “I’m Nobody’s Baby,” Flat Foot indulged an old-fashioned aesthetic that continued with Consuelo Velázquez’s “Bésame...

Spring Back Brings Talent and Wit

Sophia Bamert, Managing Editor

April 26, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance

This semester, Spring Back discovered its sense of humor, and that’s not to say that the dancing was taken any less seriously than usual. Under the direction of Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Handman-Lopez, the showcase of student choreography, which ran in the main space of Warner Center from April 18–20, achieved surprising cohesion despite the wide range of pieces performed. The show opened with an absurd welcome song, sung by bathrobe-wearing College senior Sarp Yavuz and double-degree fifth-year Lisa Yanofsky, that warned audience members that the dances would not all be the same, and ended with the borrowed lyric, “We’re glad you came,” by The Wanted. Although this segment gave an initial...

Sneak Preview: Awaken the Wild

Abby Hawkins, Arts Editor

April 26, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, Visual Art

Could you explain the theme “Awaken the Wild” a little bit more? It’s very nebulous right now. Eli Clark-Davis: We’re going for an “enchanted forest” sort of theme — monsters, fairies, all the craziest creatures you could ever imagine. Evan Baker: Definitely. Animals are a big thing that have been in all of our designs. Our whole design aesthetic has been animal-focused. ... After Origins, we felt that that theme was way too nebulous and no one could connect with it, which was totally our fault for making something that was too heady, so we decided we wanted to bring it to something we felt was more accessible, that people could latch onto when they were dressing up. We always want to get people involv...

Innovative Senior Show Highlights Natural Connections

Sophia Bamert, Managing Editor

April 12, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance

Since their first year at Oberlin, College seniors Samantha Bergman and Nona Brown have been impressing audiences with their grace, agility and choreographic talent, on their own, in ensembles and as collaborators. Their senior show, What is it, then, between us?, which ran from April 5–6 in Warner Main Space, proved a fitting culmination of their college dance careers. The embodied collaboration among the ensemble of 15 dancers onstage reinforced the importance of this work as a collaboration between director-choreographers Bergman and Brown. With a script written by ensemble member and College junior Charlotte Istel, What is it, then, between us? — the title taken from a line in Walt Whitman's "Crossing Brookl...

Colors of Rhythm Celebrates Global Arts

Jarrett Hoffman, Staff Writer

April 12, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance

Celebrating diversity through performance art was the essence of Oberlin’s 17th annual Colors of Rhythm performance, held April 5 at Finney Chapel. The program was made up of 10 acts, each representing a different marginalized cultural group represented at Oberlin. In line with the history of CoR, dance was the most prominent art form on the program. Particularly impressive for their liveliness and synchronicity were the Umoja Steppers and Students of Caribbean Ancestry. The Steppers even took a cheeky moment onstage to challenge a previous criticism published in The Oberlin Review that they “didn’t practice enough.” Their strong performance certainly spoke to their preparation. While dancing dominated the sh...

An Evening of Modern Dance, Music, Art, Featuring Oberlin Senior, Guests

Nicole Gutman

February 22, 2013

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, Visual Art

The Modern Music Guild invited percussionist Flandrew Fleisenberg and dancer Loren Gronendaal to perform a concert Feb. 17 with Conservatory senior Ian McColm. Their performances captured audiences with the outstanding use of dance, music and visual art. McColm composed and performed a piece, which featured a technique of performing over recorded music. However, these sound bites were recorded live on stage, and then instantly played back. McColm's performance revolved around him recording himself playing on an amplified drum set, stopping to playback the recording and then continuing to perform over it. This intricate cycle occurred multiple times through McColm's piece. Within the piece, McColm placed a cymbal...

Fall Forward Showcases Strong Technique, One-note Style

Fall Forward Showcases Strong Technique, One-note Style

November 9, 2012

After the three-act-long Spring Back performance of spring 2012, last weekend’s Fall Forward was concise and to the point. The Dance department’s showcase, which ran from Nov. 8 through Nov. 10, was an hour-long show consisting of short, 5–8 minute pieces, and its lighting, sound and stage managing went off without a hitch. This made for good pacing — there was no time for the audience to get too caught up in any unequally long dance. In some ways the pieces, many of which explored si...

One Fracture-Goer’s Take on Solarity/RTC’s Most Recent Event

One Fracture-Goer’s Take on Solarity/RTC’s Most Recent Event

May 4, 2012

Perhaps people did not know what to expect from Solarity and RTC’s collaborative effort, Fracture. There was talk of a post-apocalyptic theme and performers ranging from And What!?, the all-female hip-hop dance collective, to Knomadik, a jazz-electro fusion septet, but no one was expecting the plethora of student talent showcased this past Saturday night — the dance event, held in Heisman Field House, was a sight to behold. The now campus-famous, student-run production organization RTC constructed...

Oberlin Dance Department Springs into New Era

Oberlin Dance Department Springs into New Era

April 20, 2012

Last weekend marked the first all-student-choreographed Spring Back showcase in two years. While the Dance department’s inclusion of faculty choreography in recent Fall Forward and Spring Backperformances has presented a welcome collaboration of faculty expertise with student talent, this semester’s return to a student focus was both appropriate and refreshing given the amount of skill packed into the two-hour, three-act show, which ran April 12–14. Although on the whole outstanding, Spring Bac...

Solarity, RTC to Host Fracture from Reality

Kara Brooks, Arts Editor

April 20, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Features, Music, Visual Art

Despite reclaiming some of its lost identity this year, Drag Ball is still incomparable to its heyday of four-plus years ago. The student group Solarity emerged in early 2010 in response to the void left by Drag Ball’s absence, kicking off its on-campus activities with Neon Garden, a somewhat “do it yourself” event, as College junior and Solarity co-founder Dan Cook summed up. A bunker decorated with glow-in-the-dark threads, balloon flowers and UV color paper hanging from the ceiling supported Cook’s descriptions, but the party’s makeshift venue of the Science Center made an impressive impact. Voyage followed, a collaborative project produced by Solarity in conjunction with a student multimedia pro...

Coltrane Show Offers “Escape” into Music, Dance

Julia Hubay, Staff Writer

March 16, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music

A disembodied voice rang out in the darkened cavern of Warner Main Space: “May there be peace and love and perfection throughout all creation, oh God.” Slowly, musicians joined in with the repeated mantra, and the homage to John Coltrane swung into motion. Essence presented “Escape from New Babylon to the Sweet Music of John and Alice Coltrane” on March 9 and 10 with sponsorship from the African American Studies and Theater and Dance departments. Adenike Sharpley, artistic director for Dance Diaspora, performed beautifully expressive pieces in addition to directing the show. In the program notes she commented: “I didn’t want to give lip service to [Coltrane], rather I actually wanted to honor him by doing...

Essence Dances to Music of John and Alice Coltrane

Elizabeth Dobbins

March 9, 2012

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music

“Escape from New Babylon to the Sweet Music of John and Alice Coltrane,” presented by Essence dance troupe, is the second in a trilogy of artist showcases that began with 2010’s celebration of musician Eric Dolphy. Showing in Warner Main on March 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., the event will be a mix of music, dance and spoken-word performances. The show’s artistic director, the African American Studies Department’s artist-in-residence Adenike Sharpley, explained that the dance portion of the show will feature black expressionism, a form of dance improvisation heavily influenced by West African styles ,originally introduced to Sharpley by her mentor, Margaret Christian, OC ’74. Sharpley said this improvisational...

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