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ReFusionShaka moves to Cahn Auditorium to meet audience demand

Dancers+rehearse+for+Refusionshaka.+This+year%2C+the+show+has+moved+from+Ryan+Family+Auditorium+to+Cahn+Auditorium+to+accommodate+larger+audiences.%0A
Dancers rehearse for Refusionshaka. This year, the show has moved from Ryan Family Auditorium to Cahn Auditorium to accommodate larger audiences.

Dancers rehearse for Refusionshaka. This year, the show has moved from Ryan Family Auditorium to Cahn Auditorium to accommodate larger audiences.

Sam Schumacher/The Daily Northwestern

Sam Schumacher/The Daily Northwestern

Dancers rehearse for Refusionshaka. This year, the show has moved from Ryan Family Auditorium to Cahn Auditorium to accommodate larger audiences.

Kimberly Go, Reporter

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After turning people away from sold-out shows in past years, ReFusionShaka will be held in Cahn Auditorium, the largest performance space on campus, this year.

ReFusionShaka, which features student groups Refresh Dance Crew, Fusion Dance Company and Boomshaka, began in 2010. The show moved from McCormick Auditorium to Ryan Family Auditorium last year because it had been selling out in McCormick Auditorium, said Sarah Ehlen, one of Boomshaka’s artistic directors. However, the performances continued to sell out in Ryan Auditorium.

“People didn’t get to see the show and had to watch it on a screen in a classroom,” the Medill senior said. “We tried to stream it so people could see it but we had to turn a lot of people away. We were like, ‘What’s bigger than Tech so that everyone who wants to see the show, can?’”

Tickets for the show, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, will also be sold through Norris Box Office for the first time this year. Jisoo Lee, Communication senior and president of Refresh, said this will make the ticketing process more efficient and prevent ReFusionShaka from having to turn people away at the door.

Lee said ReFusionShaka has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years and has become something on everyone’s “NU Bucket List.”

“We also gained much more of a diverse team membership and I think that helped us reached audiences across campuses that didn’t know about ReFusionShaka,” she said.

Sunny Song, a producer for Fusion and general member in Refresh, said she thinks the growth of ReFusionShaka comes from the growing dance community in general. She agreed with Lee that the show is able to attract more people because of the reach of the three dance groups.

“We pull different types of people across campus and we’ve been trying to get it more integrated and more influential in all social circles,” the Weinberg senior said.

Ehlen said she attributes ReFusionShaka’s popularity to Refresh’s growth. Last Spring Quarter, Refresh had its first solo show.

“Refresh has become a more solidified group over the past few years,” she said. “The first year of ReFusionShaka, Fusion was the well-known group, but now Refresh has made a name for themselves and they are a huge group.”

Because of the move to the larger space, Boomshaka will have a different sound, Ehlen said. Unlike Refresh and Fusion, Boomshaka does not rely on musical tracks but rather drumming on trash cans and buckets, which will be affected by echoes in Cahn.

The dance groups have been leveraging the bigger space at Cahn to get more people to perform in each piece, Song said.

The larger stage has allowed Refresh’s dance teams to experiment more, Lee said. Knowing they would be performing at Cahn allowed them to be more flexible in the number of people they accepted and expand their repertoire.

“This year’s set packs more of a punch,” Lee said. “A lot of choreographers this year focus on visual aesthetic and since we have more members, (we can) be more experimental and come up with things we can’t do with a 10-person group.”

Email: kimberlygo2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @kimberlygo2018

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