The Mercyhurst University Dance Department presented Raw Edges, which is a collection of dances choreographed by sixteen emerging choreographers and one guest choreographer. The sixteen choreographers were all students in Mercyhurst’s dance program, and some of them choreographed routines for their senior theses. I attended the 2pm showing today, but the program ran all weekend. The matinee showings had some different routines than the evening showings, and I wish I had known that there were differences because I would have liked to see the other routines.
Before the show and during the intermission, two of the student choreographers talked about the inspirations for their routines and their creative processes, and they answered audience questions. Both of them were choreographing routines to complete their senior capstones. I found it interesting how they were able to take a song and translate it into movement. I also liked being able to learn more about some of the routines because it helped me better appreciate and understand what was happening on stage.
My favorite part about Raw Edges was the variety among each routine because someone different choreographed each one. I enjoyed seeing how each choreographer expressed himself or herself through using other dancers. As one of the dance professors running the program stated, each choreographer used time and space to tell a story or express a theme. Each dance was completely different, including costumes, lighting, number of dancers, music, genre, and influences. There were as few as one dancer and as many as seven on stage, depending on the routine. In addition, the music ranged from an a cappella performance from six Mercyhurst music majors to classical music or modern popular songs. This made the show exciting because I was not looking at the same people, costumes, or movements for the entire two hours, and there was something different happening with each dance.
My favorite routine was To Fear or To Face because I like how it told a story through movement and music. The dancers were incredible, and the choreography evolved throughout the routine. It did not get boring because I did not feel like I was watching the same thing several times over. I also liked the choreographer’s music choice because it fit the intensity of what she was expressing. The dance also felt modern and cutting-edge, and it did not feel traditional. It felt unique, and I would like to see it again so that I can understand the message behind the dance better.
I was not expecting to enjoy Raw Edges as much as I did because I was wary that I would be watching similar routines for an extended amount of time. However, each routine was unique, and I was never bored. Although I had heard about Raw Edges in previous years, I had never had an interest in going, but I am glad I went. I only regret not going in the past because I enjoyed this year’s program so much. I hope that I can be in Erie at the same time this program happens again so that I can see it, and I know that it will be a completely different experience from this time.