For this assignment, I wanted to attend an event that I wouldn’t normally go to, something outside of my interests. How can one experience what UH has to offer if one doesn’t t explore? Saturday night I attended the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Theater. The dance production that was being presented was called Look Back Move Forward, it highlighted the different dance styles and works that have made their way through Kennedy Theater or were presented for the first time. The production was directed by Betsy Fisher, UHM Professor of Dance, and had a team of choreographers that include: Yukie Shiroma, Tony Young, Andrew Sakaguchi, Vicky Holt Takamine, Cheryl Flaharty and Jean Erdman.
It was my first time ever attending a dance performance and I had no idea what to expect. The opening scene was incredible and it was what I believe was a perfect and beautiful representation of the University’s mission of bridging east and west. The scene was called the Other Rhythm and was a blend of Hula and Bharatanatyam dance, a classical Indian dance. At first the dances were separate but later fused together into a stunning display. My favorite act was You’re the One For Me (1997) a humorous and intense scene depicting the love story of Kamapua’a, Hawaiian pig god, and Pele.
Something I thought about during the act Blue Green (1980) was the scene was dance was like literature and it was probably more than a dance but perhaps also a story or it symbolized something. I then began analyzing the scene as if it has been a piece of literature and I paid attention to the small details. For instance, I wondered if the blue and green dresses were symbolic or if there was a reason as to way the green dancer would mimic the blue dance but the music they both danced to differed.
During all the dance scenes the amount of dedication was evident in every performer. What may have seemed like random movements was to me movements that were choreographed then rehearsed and rehearsed until it became second nature. I thought only a person who is passionate about dance would be able to endure such a physically and mentally demanding art, and that is what I believe made the performance beautiful.
Since attending this event I have now become aware that the University has a dance program that has five full-time faculty members and that, of course, one can earn a bachelors in the dance program. I questioned why would a university give a degree in such a program and how might it be used? I later realized that there are other degrees that may seem impractical to some and dont have the “job security” attached as other majors may have but are still offered at the University. A bachelors in Dance would serve as a way to show that the person who earned the degree has the skills, knowledge and background that are necessary to be part of a professional dance production.
Would I recommend this event? I would only do so if the person was one who has an appreciation for dance. Would I go again? Perhaps, if someone paid for my admission.