Behind the shiny, new doors of the Theatre Arts Center, there has been a work of art in progress for the past several weeks as Northwestern students rehearse for the “Rush” project, an independent dance project led by juniors Becky Fanning and Corinne Mings.
The show, according to Fanning, “consists of 6 dances which are:lyrical, break dancing, jazz, modern, ballroom and swing.” These dances, Mings added, will be performed “by different choreographers, all students.”
The purpose of the performance, Fanning said, is to present a diverse arrangement of dances. “We want to get away from the stereotypes of dance recitals and show this community the different types of things that are out there.”
Mings said that she and Fanning have endeavored to make the performance diverse by “getting different choreographers and dancers together to share what they specialize in.”
“It’s just a good chance for a bunch of people to share their talents and what they love to do with each other and the campus,“ said Mings.
Fanning and Mings have been planning and overseeing this performance because, as Fanning said, “We felt that dance is a very beautiful art form and our school needs more of it. We are hoping that this can become an annual event.”
Mings also has personal reasons for overseeing the performance. She explained why she chose to play such an important role in putting on the show: “I love doing this. I’ve missed dancing since I’ve come to college. I’ve been on the dance team, taken classes, been part of swing club, but this freedom and discipline and collaboration is what I’ve missed the most. I’ve loved learning from other people and their styles.”
Since the project began, Fanning and Mings have faced some difficulties preparing for their upcoming show.
Fanning said that a lack of preparation time caused difficulty, especially when most theatre students were away from campus for one entire week, attending the American College Theatre Festival in Denver, Co. And because this is an independant project, rehersals need to work around the threatre department schedule.
Fanning also said, “The new building is a blessing to work in, but it is not fully ready for everything.”
In spite of difficulties, Mings acknowledged, “Everyone has been really helpful with this project. Our dancers have been working hard for the very short amount of time we’ve had for this project. Megan Hodgin (our lighting designer) is a goddess, and Kristen Olson-Jones (the stage manager) has been amazing.”
Fanning agreed: “I am working with amazing people who are willing to do anything they can to help this process. It is very exciting seeing something you dream up come to life. I feel that I had all the support where I needed it.”
While the students have yet to put on their first performance, Mings is already looking ahead. “Next year, I really want to have even more variety and participation,” she said.
“What can I say,” concluded Mings. “It’s definitely a Rush!” “Rush” will be performed on Friday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Theatre Arts Center; admission is free.