Dancers present “On Broadway”
Observer Scene | Friday, January 21, 2005
Mary Dubon had danced her whole life before coming to Notre Dame. But when she began dancing on campus as a freshman, she discovered there was something lacking.”I started dancing through clubs in RecSports, and I discovered there was a need for performance outlet,” Dubon said.Dubon decided to see if she could provide that outlet. When she heard that her dorm was looking for a new signature event, she proposed the idea to her rector and hall presidents.Dubon booked Washington Hall the summer after her freshman year, and began work on the show first thing in the fall. After auditions, rehearsals and countless hours of work, the first annual Welsh Family Hall dance recital was held in January of 2004.The results were encouraging. The performance almost sold out and was a hit with the audience.This year the show has sparked more interest among dancers on campus, and hopefully among spectators as well. Dubon had more than twice as many dancers audition for the core numbers, which were choreographed by members of the show committee. The show will run for two nights this year instead of one, and features upgrades in lighting techniques and other details.”It was definitely easier this year,” Dubon said. “It’s nice to be more professional.”The show will also feature 10 numbers from a variety of other campus clubs and dancers. Troop ND, Ballet Folklorico, the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s Ballroom Dance Club and the ND-SMC Irish Dance Team give the show a definite international flair.”It’s nice to work with people of a lot of different dance backgrounds and see it in a different light,” said junior Karen Weil, who will perform the show’s only solo number to Frou Frou’s “Let Go.” “There are so many different genres, the variety is nice.”Dubon is also excited to have students from Saint Mary’s College in this year’s show. Dancers from the two schools often work together, since many Notre Dame dancers go to Saint Mary’s to take advantage of the more extensive program. A conflicting performance at Saint Mary’s on the night of the show last year kept many of the dancers from performing, but this year both campuses will be well represented.Saint Mary’s student Lauren Magnifico has performed in the Saint Mary’s dance company with Dubon for two years, and was excited when asked to be on the show committee and choreograph a number for the theater jazz group.”It turned out to be a blast,” Magnifico said. “I was honestly a little nervous at the beginning, but the girls in my group are amazing and I think the show is going to be awesome.”Weil had worked with dance programs at Saint Mary’s, but was thrilled to have a chance to perform at Washington Hall last year. “The show was my first chance to dance on campus,” Weil said. “When I was a freshman there wasn’t really anything offered for dancers here. I think a lot has happened since then.”One of the best parts of the show this year, like last year, is the variety. The Welsh Family Hall dance recital offers dancers a little more freedom, which means a great assortment for the audience.”There are a lot of very different opportunities, and you can always take classes,” said show committee member Lindsay Fitzpatrick. “But this is a neat opportunity… to have a real hand in what you dance and pick what you want to do.”Proceeds for the dance recital will benefit Catholic Relief Services for tsunami victims.