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TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
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Chi Tau Epsilon and DanceTCU present biannual Brown Bag Dance performance

Caroline Kellam
Grace Vanucchi, Mac Eubank and Sasha Voldina perform to “Super Important” choreographed by Sarah Newton.

On the Friday of homecoming weekend, Chi Tau Epsilon and DanceTCU presented the biannual Brown Bag Dance performance in the Erma Lowe Studio Theatre.

The Brown Bag Dance serves as an informal platform for dance students to present their own choreographed performances. The showcase is entirely student-run.

Callie Rector and Bella Nelson perform a self-choreographed number, “The Paper Route.” (Caroline Kellam)

Callie Rector and Bella Nelson, both first-year dance majors, captivated the audience with their self-choreographed performance, “The Paper Route.”

“Our inspiration for the number started with wanting to do something reviving and light-hearted,” Nelson said. “We took inspiration from Charlie Chaplin, who influenced our costumes, musical selection and the style of the piece.”

The scene depicts a businessman strolling down the street, clutching crucial documents when an inattentive passerby bumps into him. Conflict arises, but in the end, they find themselves dancing in harmony, forgiving each other and forming a newfound friendship.

“Typically, ballet is very serious, but we wanted to break out of that stereotype,” Rector said. “This is a hard time in the semester for everyone, so we believed it was the perfect time for some comic relief.”

Rector and Nelson perfected their number in only five rehearsals.

“The hardest part was the choreography process and coming up with the storyline,” Nelson said. “Once we started rehearsing, it came together pretty quickly.”

Rector and Nelson said the crowd’s energy was rewarding because their performance’s objective was to have fun and bring laughter to the audience.

“The joy of art is being able to bring joy to other people and put a smile on someone’s face,” Rector said. “It’s very special as a performer.”

Victoria Goncalo performs Kitri’s Entrance from “Don Quixote.” (Caroline Kellam)

Victoria Goncalo, a first-year ballet major, graced the stage with Kitri’s Entrance from the ballet “Don Quixote.”

“I chose this dance because it is from my favorite ballet,” Goncalo said. “It’s a fiery variation which worked well because I dance best when performing something sassy or strong.”

In preparation for the Brown Bag performance, Goncalo devoted herself to rehearsals twice a week throughout the summer.

“I took the choreography from different ballet companies like the Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Youth America Grand Prix and created my own variation,” Goncalo said. 

Goncalo said her first performance as a TCU dance student was nerve-wracking, but ultimately a rewarding experience.

“I didn’t know what to expect and all of my professors were there watching, but it was informal to the point where I could enjoy it,” Goncalo said. “It was a safe space.”

Annie Cellar performs a self-choreographed tap number to “Hooked on a Feeling” in the final number of the show. (Caroline Kellam)

Annie Cellar, a sophomore double major in modern dance and mathematics, showcased her tap skills in the show’s final performance.

Annie spent five hours choreographing the number and five weeks rehearsing for the performance.

“Opportunities like these are a cool way for us to not only help each other grow individually as artists but also to grow collectively as a department,” Cellar said. 

For Cellar, choreographing a tap number is like writing music.

“My tap shoes are my instrument, so choreographing is like writing a percussion line for a song,” Cellar said. “It’s like creating music. Having the audience to witness that is a really cool experience for me.”

Next up, the School for Classical and Contemporary Dance will perform its fall concert Nov. 2-4. 

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