In a daze
All was quiet in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium as the lights dimmed over the crowd. An anxious audience watched as the Creations Dance Company’s ‘Cuse Daze performance was about to begin.
But instead of dancers, a giant slideshow appeared on stage, depicting famous historical African-American figures from Harriet Tubman to President-elect Barack Obama. The auditorium filled with murmurs, as students realized that.
‘Cuse Daze would not simply be a series of dance routines, but much more.
The Creations Dance Company, now entering its 31st year in existence at Syracuse University, works to provide the community with various forms of dance that are reflective of the minority experience. In addition to their fall performance, Creations also appears in the MLK ceremony in the Carrier Dome, as well as events hosted by other clubs on campus.
Devon Williams, a senior information technology major and co-coordinator of Creations, came up with the story for this year’s show.
‘Our fall performance is our biggest show, and this year it’s all about perspective,’ Devon said. ‘As minorities here, our faces are always seen on campus, but our voices are not always heard. It’s important to address racial issues, and we try to do so by sharing our experiences in an entertaining way.’
As for ‘Cuse Daze, Devon and her team did not disappoint.
With songs ranging from Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ to the Counting Crows’ ‘Colorblind,’ Creations dancers used a mixture of ballet, hip-hop and interpretive dance routines to chronicle the college career of a minority student at SU and the trials she must face.
Divided into four parts, ‘Cuse Daze showed the ups and downs of each individual year at college, from moving in to graduation, with interjections of movie clips and comical dialogue. Dancers donned tutus, graduation gowns, and even a mime costume to creatively represent each step of the college experience.
Perhaps the only thing livelier than the intricate dances was the audience itself. As dancers showed their skills off both onstage and in the aisles, they were greeted with cheers and posters made by friends and family. During several songs, members of the crowd could even be seen dancing in their seats.
‘Everyone in Creations helped each other out by sharing our own stories about college,’ Devon said on the plotline of ”Cuse Daze.’ ‘It’s a collaboration of all our experiences throughout the last four years, and how college life is seen from our perspective,’ she said.
The most favored performance of the show was during the sophomore-year portion, when the lights suddenly came on and the stage went black. A momentarily confused crowd searched the stage until they were met with chanting from the rear of the auditorium.
All of a sudden, fraternity and sorority members from each minority Greek house showed off their house letters as they paraded up the middle isle of Goldstein. Dancing and shouting just inches away from the audience, each group represented Greek life as a large part of the college experience.
‘It was unbelievable,’ said Eliza Catalino, a freshman communications and rhetorical studies major. ‘A show like this was way more effective in teaching students about diversity than someone just giving a speech onstage.’
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