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Dancing to Their Own Beat

Maddie Daly | Thursday, December 5, 2013

If you’ve ever been to a dance recital or a ballet performance, you are probably used to sitting in a crowded, dark theater, craning your neck to catch a glimpse of the graceful, costumed dancers on a lit-up stage. Although this can be a fun and exciting experience, it is also full of distractions that take away from the purpose of the show: to convey a story through movement.  On Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Notre Dame’s own TransPose [dance collective] will be performing their Winter Showcase which demonstrates pure, raw talent without all the superfluous accessories.  

Completely student-run, TransPose is a modern dance group that prides itself on nontraditional performances that are completely free of charge. According to TransPose president Lexie Below, “the company is composed of members with a wide range of dance experience from those who have been dancing since they were in diapers to those who have just recently discovered an interest in dance.”

The group strives for equality and allows for members ranging from freshmen to seniors to choreograph instead of having a completely upperclassmen-run leading force, making for a friendly atmosphere and a great learning experience for all involved.    

Every semester, TransPose puts on a show, performing choreography they have been inventing and learning for roughly three months. The majority of the show is modern or contemporary dance, but due to the diversity of the members’ dance background, aspects of ballet, jazz and hip-hop are usually incorporated. Each show also has a theme, ranging in the past from technology to color to nature. Since there are multiple choreographers, having a theme helps them keep the show coherent and uniform. This year’s theme is “CityBeat” and will be performed in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall. TransPose member Katie Fusco described what the audience can expect with the group’s unique performance location.  

“In the Oak Room, we partitioned off the size of the stage essentially, so people can sit and stand around. We used to use an entire space, for example when we performed in Stinson-Remick, we were moving around the entire building. We even put some people on the elevators to dance, but we’ve found it’s nice to stay in one place,” Fusco said. “It’s cool to have a different backdrop for dance. It’s a very intimate performance. You don’t have those bright lights or the darkness. It’s just you and the audience. It’s kind of scary, but it’s fun. It’s just a different perspective of dance.”

One of Fusco’s favorite parts about being involved in the performing arts at Notre Dame is how interactive all the groups are. She said that this show will feature Project Fresh, or Pfresh, an upbeat hip-hop dance group, who happened to feature TransPose in their spring show last semester. 

“Last spring Pfresh’s April show was a competition, and our piece, choreographed by Julia Hart to ‘Red Hands’ by Walk off the Earth, won judge’s choice, so we’re kind of riding off that high now,” Fusco said.  

This year’s shows are on Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Oak Room of South Dining Hall.  The audience can expect an hour-long story told through narration and dance and an up-front look at the raw emotion of modern dance. 

Anyone interested in joining TransPose [dance collective] should email [email protected] for more information, and auditions for the spring show will be held in January. However, the best way to get a feel for the group would be to go to their free show tomorrow afternoon to experience dance like you never have before.  

Contact Maddie Daly at                           [email protected]