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WVU Tech Students Experience Cultural Storytelling Through Dance

By Rubhi Garcia
Photography by Jolita Dural

WVU Tech started off the month of October with the entertainment of the West Virginia Dance Company and their performance of “Reflections: An Evening of Modern Dance.” This entertaining night was led by performers Aymen Robertson, Hilary J. Freeland, Brittney Fitzgerald, Curtis Johnson, Forrest Hershey and Donald Laney.

The performances were inspired by chapters and collections of quotes from books, films and overheard conversations. The quotes, which served as inspirations for the humorous, dramatic and purely physical short dances, were: “The Ghosts of Insects,” “Erased by Degrees,” “Film Noir,” “Funeral,” “Gravity,” “Rednecks,” “But In The Dark You Only See What Glows,” “Bull Moose Special” and “On Another Day There Was Faith, Hope, and Love.”

After the performance, the WVDC performers took a moment to sit down with the students to answer questions. Students were interested to know how long it took for the dancers to prepare for the dances.

“Because there was some complex choreography, we started preparing around September 17, rehearsing for long hours,” said WVDC dancer Donald Laney.

Students also wanted to know how it felt performing in the WVU Tech Ballroom and sharing their work with this audience in particular.

“It was different, interesting, but a bit intimidating because of the space provided where we get to see you closely just as you can see our performances so close” shared one dancer.

Toneta Akers-Toler, founder and managing artistic director of the WVDC, said that she understands students are under pressure during the school year and she believes that for students to take the time to come and learn about the culture and art of West Virginia is a great way to escape from the monotonous student lifestyle.

Student feedback to the performance was overwhelmingly positive.