The Daily Northwestern

Fusion celebrates 10 years with ‘HOT OFF THE PRESS’

Sarah Rense, Reporter

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Fusion Dance Company, Northwestern’s premiere hip-hop group, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a new show Friday and Saturday. The show, called “Fusion Dance Co. Presents: HOT OFF THE PRESS,” is a completely student-produced performance centered on the theme of newspapers.

McCormick senior Kelly Staricha, Fusion’s artistic director, said her segment of the show is based on the fashion and style section of a newspaper, while other pieces focus on other sections like crime and nightlife.

“We thought the newspaper theme gave a lot of different options to people and would give us diversity for the show, from hard-hitting to funny to serious,” Staricha explained.

Fusion is putting in long hours of rehearsal to bring “Hot off the Press” to the stage, and while it’s been stressful at times, Staricha said she’s excited.

“It’s awesome,” she said, “And it’s great to see how much we’ve grown over the last 10 years … how our choreography has developed and how diverse we’ve become.”

After four years of watching the company grow, this is Staricha’s last performance with Fusion, and she wants her final show to be as exciting for the audience as it is for the dancers. Some of the pieces involve the people in the crowd, and she hopes the auditorium gets loud.

“Have a good time. We appreciate a fun audience that cheers and interacts with us,” Staricha said.

So this weekend, expect some audience participation and maybe even some audience inspiration.

At a Fusion show last year, Weinberg sophomore Andrew Lee was just another face in the seats. Now, he’s wrapping up his first year as a member of the company.

“I always liked dancing, but I never did formal choreography training,” Lee explained. “At a Fusion show last year, I wanted to be on stage, and I wanted to be on stage with them.”

This past summer, Lee pushed himself to practice four hours a day, five days a week at a studio near his home to prepare for Fusion tryouts.

“I’m probably the least formally-trained person on Fusion. I wanted to join to learn from people who have years and years of classical training,” Lee said.

This is Lee’s first themed show, and it took hours of preparation with the whole company to get it down.

“It’s a bit stressful at times because it is difficult for me to go at the pace that they go because everyone in Fusion is so good,” Lee said. “But everyone on Fusion I consider family, and I can see myself growing as a dancer and as a person.”

So why go see Lee’s first and Staricha’s last themed Fusion show?

“I crack up every time watching it,” Staricha said. “I feel like it flips a lot from serious to sexy to hilarious, so I think everyone will be pretty entertained.”

“It’s an incredible amount of talent from each member,” Lee added. “And obviously everyone in Fusion is super attractive, so that’s a bonus.”

Twitter: @sarah_rense