Campus dance groups collaborate for the first time this weekend
January 14, 2015
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Tonik Tap and Graffiti Dancers are collaborating for the first time in “Hooked on Graffoniks,” which runs Jan. 16 and 17 in the Jones Great Room.
Aric Barrow, artistic director of Tonik Tap, has been in both groups since his freshman year and this year, he invited Graffiti to join Tonik for the group’s annual winter show.
“When you bring two groups together, the entertainment value goes up,” Barrow said.
The show features separate pieces from Graffiti and Tonik as well as four joint pieces, including the finale with all members of both groups and a ballet and tap duet with a member from each group. Graffiti artistic director Katherine Scott restaged a tap piece from her home studio for Graffiti and Tonik dancers.
Graffiti’s internal producer Annalissa Hartsell said she is excited to work with Tonik because Graffiti has never performed with them. Many Graffiti members had tapped before and had previously attended Tonik shows as a group.
“I get to tap for the first time in years,” Hartsell said. “I think it’s because we respect each other so much. We’re that much more excited to coexist on a stage together.”
Scott is excited for the audience to see the show and see theses groups working together for the first time.
“It will be a very high-energy show,” Scott said.
Scott has enjoyed branching out and working with new people in the creative process.
“I think, ultimately, both groups have the same goal and intention: to entertain audiences and be a creative outlet for members,” she said. “This collaboration occurred so easily because Aric is in both groups.”
Tonik President Sheridan Brown said they had wanted to work with Graffiti for a long time, and with Barrow as artistic director, “it was a really good opportunity to bring the groups together.”
“I think since we’re all dancers, we’re much more similar than we sometimes remember,” Brown said.
Members from both groups are excited to perform together for the first time and expand their audiences.
“I think we play to each other’s strengths. We sort of of bring out different feelings and styles of movement with each other,” Hartsell said. “I hope that we actually get to continue it in future years.”