BLAST spring dance show explores concept of loss


Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

Dancers rehearse for “Lost,” Northwestern’s Ballroom Latin and Swing Team’s spring showcase. The show aims to allow choreographers and dancers to explore what being lost means to them.

Sophie Mann, Reporter


In BLAST’s upcoming spring dance show, students will lose themselves in dance in a display of choreography exploring issues from the loss of shoes to a miscarriage.

BLAST, Northwestern’s Ballroom Latin and Swing Team, will open its spring show, “Lost,” this Saturday.

Preparation for the show began in the fall, when potential choreographers presented pieces to the director and producer, said producer Grace Sunken, a Weinberg junior. She said this year’s show features about a dozen ballroom-dance pieces, all choreographed by NU students.

“(The theme) ended up working out really well this year,” Sunken said. “You have swing, which is more fun and exciting, and more serious waltzes and things like that. I think it’ll give the audience a really well-rounded view of all of the ballroom styles we do.”

Sunken added that choosing the theme is tough because the team wants to give choreographers some direction but also leave it open-ended enough to incorporate many elements.

Past shows have had themes like superheroes and secrecy. This year’s theme aimed to give choreographers room to create whatever being lost meant to them, said director Gordon Burkhart, a Weinberg and Bienen junior. He added that the production team chose the theme in order to feature darker, more intense pieces, as well as sillier ones.

Because of the flexibility of this year’s theme, interpretations manifested both physically and psychologically, showing what loss can mean in a variety of ways, Burkhart said.

Video by Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

BLAST president and Weinberg junior Benjamin Kraft, who has been part of BLAST’s competition team since his freshman year, said he has seen over the years that choreographers in the show often use their experiences with tough issues to fuel their choreography. He added that the trend continues this year.

“For the show that BLAST puts on, I think it’s very unique in that we have pieces that resonate on an emotional level,” said Kraft, a former Daily staffer. “Particularly this year, there’s a piece on miscarriage, and it’s always silent during rehearsal.”

Kraft said what strikes him about the show is its emotionality, not just artistic beauty. This is what he said sets the show apart for him from other shows on campus that are artistically beautiful, but may not be as evocative.

“This year we have a huge array of emotional impacts and it allows the world to see dance doesn’t have to be just an artistic thing,” Kraft said. “There’s no reason we have to separate art from emotion.”

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