The Oberlin Review

Colors of Rhythm Celebrates Global Arts

Jarrett Hoffman, Staff Writer

April 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

“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...

On the Record: Nusha Martynuk, Founder of OASIS

Kara Brooks, Arts Editor

March 2, 2012

Can you tell me a little bit about how OASIS started? In the spring of 2006, I became the director of Dance, and I was talking to the dean at the time about collaboration, teaching more collaboratively and allowing the arts to do more work of that sort. Then, in fall of 2010, it so happened that the President’s Office called a meeting with the arts chairs about a wonderful organization on the west side of Cleveland called the Gordon Square Arts District that represents a number of arts organizations which are housed in that area. Gordon Square was interested in partnering with Oberlin to say “Let’s see if we can do programming that is more educationally oriented for us,” something they don’t do and t...

Ntozake Shange on Why She Had to Dance

Kara Brooks, Arts Editor

February 10, 2012

Every seat was filled in the Science Center’s West Lecture Hall at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 8, which was surprising for the time of day. After a brief delay due to wheelchair inaccessibility, Ntozake Shange finally made her way to the stage. The room hushed to hear the acclaimed playwright and poet speak, and Associate Professor of African American Studies Caroline Jackson Smith chimed in, “It’s my experience that a conversation between two artists can be even richer than just one artist.” Choreographer Dianne McIntyre joined Shange, taking the seat angled next to her, both of them smiling. The experience was indeed rich as the two artists read and discussed passages from Shange’s new collection of writing, lost in ...

Art Departments Collaborate with Gordon Square Arts District

Nancy Roane, Staff Writer

October 14, 2011

Oberlin College’s departments of Theater, Art and Dance are collaborating with the Gordon Square Arts District located in Cleveland’s west side. Oberlin students will soon have the opportunity to get involved in art exhibitions, Winter Term projects and other artistic programs from the neighboring city of Cleveland. The Gordon Square Arts District is an initiative that has worked since 2006 to bring economic and artistic development to an area in Cleveland previously in decay. The three founding partners of GSAD are Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. With the goal of sparking economic development and job creation, the GSAD works to bring arts...

Dancing Community: The Dance of Social Resistance

Kara Brooks, Arts Editor

September 30, 2011

In celebration of Latino/a Heritage Month at Oberlin College, Ana María Alvarez, OC ’99, came to Oberlin this past Tuesday to provide a public lecture, as well as instruct two master dance classes. After studying at the North Carolina School of the Arts and training with the Urban Bush Women, Alvarez, a Cuban-American choreographer, created CONTRA-TIEMPO, a dance program at University of California Los Angeles Lab School, which is now the focus of her work. CONTRA-TIEMPO serves not only as an arts education program, but also as a dance company suitable for concert stage. “We struggle with communicating to people that we do both and that we do both well,” Alvarez said. Activist performance work is a key element...

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