Fusion hosts annual dance show

Daniel Lesser

Northwestern’s Fusion Dance Company combined dance with science at its annual showcase Friday and Saturday, entitled “Fusion in the Lab.”

The 75-minute-long show was held in Fisk Hall’s auditorium. Before the doors opened, loud bass resonated out toward the waiting crowd. Once they opened, the crowd filed in to fill the room to capacity.

The performance began with the dancers acting out a science experiment. Next, the company executed a number that utilized bright, colorful lights.

Weinberg junior and Fusion co-manager Elise Mattenson said the group chooses the theme for its annual shows through a brainstorming session and voting. She said the choices depend on the feasibility of successfully making a show out of a theme.

“We try to make sure we can get enough mini-themes to make a show out of it before we decide on a theme,” she said.

Fusion producer and Communication senior Christy Stallknecht said the group chose chemistry as its theme because “it was original, a lot different from themes we had done in the past.”

This year, the group also had to work with a smaller stage for its showcase. To prepare for this change, Fusion held rehearsals in smaller practice areas.

“During rehearsal we worked with limits that were smaller than the actual stage so we could get used to it,” Fusion member and Communication junior Alaya Turnbough said. “So once we got here the stage seemed so much bigger.”

During the show’s intermission, Rishi Khakhkhar, a Weinberg sophomore, commented on the chemistry theme.

“They keep interjecting it throughout. I think it’s done pretty well,” Khakhkhar said.

The backdrop of the stage was covered in molecules whose elements spelled out “FUSION.” During one dance, the performers wore hazardous waste shirts, and in another, they donned neon colors.

The show’s soundtrack included science-inspired songs such as the introduction to the show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” and more modern pieces such as Tyga’s “Rack City.”

However, in the second half of the show, songs started to pause at random, forcing the performers to improvise.

“We had trouble with the sound at the end, which was a little weird,” Fusion member and Weinberg freshman Meg McPherson said.

Despite this obstacle, Mattenson said she was pleased with the performances.

“We pretty much filled the auditorium for every show, which was exciting,” she said. “Everyone was loud and supportive and they got all the jokes we made.”

The theme of last year’s showcase was toys.

“This year’s experience has been so different from last year’s just because we’ve had a change in venue and we’ve gone about it so differently,” Turnbough said. “I loved them both.” Jillian Sandler contributed reporting. [email protected]northwestern.edu