Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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The spotlight is on tabloids and gossip in Fusion’s spring show ‘Front Cover’

Joshua Sukoff/The Daily Northwestern
Fusion Dance Company celebrated a milestone with their 20th spring show. This year’s theme was “front cover,” characterized by paparazzi, flashing lights and fame.

Flashing lights. Paparazzi. The highs and lows of the spotlight. The Fusion Dance Company’s spring show “Front Cover” captured the lure of being front and center this weekend in Ryan Family Auditorium. The Fusion “flashiness” showcased a fierce handpicked choreography and song choice to display the allure of fame in a world of tabloids and gossip.

After choreographing a dance to the tune of Justin Bieber’s “Maria,” the group found inspiration from the song’s use of paparazzi chattering to create a show about celebrity, according to Communication senior and Fusion Public Relations Chair Maddie Morse.

“The intro of (‘Maria’) is very much tabloid-esque, which goes hand-in-hand with our theme this year,” Morse said. “We’re doing front cover, we’re doing gossip, we’re doing tabloids.”

The two-hour-show was a combination of short, transitional pieces, freestyle dances, longer performances and Fusion’s first-ever use of video sketches, which played off of YouTube series such as First We Feast’s talk show “Hot Ones” and Vogue’s “73 Questions.”

Morse said the company wanted to incorporate the videos for creative and strategic purposes, and the theme of fame was a medium to seize this opportunity.

“It’s something that I think we’ve been wanting to play around with for a few years now, just to lessen the amount of blackout transitions and keep the audience engaged when we’re not dancing,” Morse said.

Fusion opened the show with Fergie’s “Glamorous,” featuring monochrome costumes and upbeat dancing. Later, the performance featured tracks like “Going Bad” by Meek Mill and Drake and “Pose” by Yo Gotti and Lil Uzi Vert, with lighting that gave the atmosphere of paparazzi’s camera flashes.

The higher tempo tracks were paired with more mellow songs, including “Work Song” by Hozier and The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition.” The contemporary choreography to Greta Van Fleet’s “Light My Love” also contrasted against the songs of glamour with a slowed-down reflection of a love story.

Throughout the performance, Communication sophomore and performer Corrina Jones said the thrilling energy between Fusion and the audience made for a fun experience.

“The crowd is always electrifying. They’re always feeding into our energy,” Jones said. “And of course, everyone on Fusion has amazing energy, and we just always hype each other up.”

Typically, Fusion has two weeks of tech rehearsals with practice every day, Jones said.

With these intense practices, Fusion has an annual tradition of team bonding exercises before and after shows to keep performers motivated, Morse said.

“We just make sure that we have little things between the shows to keep the energy high and to really celebrate the amount of work and effort that has gone into it,” Morse said. “Because whatever happens on stage, the effort is what has mattered and what makes the show what it is.”

Fusion is a space of collaboration, Morse said. Any dancer can submit choreographies, which all members vote on in early Winter Quarter. Then, dancers rank which pieces they want to dance in, and the executive board casts each number.

Jones said the practice to produce the show was difficult when balancing academics, but she sees it as a means to unwind.

“It’s so fun to go to Fusion practice after having a hard day of classes because there’s always going to be positive energy,” Jones said. “We’re all stressed on the inside of what’s going on academically, but coming here we can all let loose, be creative and enjoy each other’s company.”

Medill freshman Makayla Potter, who watched the 7 p.m. show on Saturday, said she had heard good things about previous shows and wanted to experience the performance firsthand.

She said she was impressed by the production for the multi-media performance and its ability to keep the audience engaged.

“It lived up to the highest standard,” Potter said.

Northwestern Deeva, an all-female competitive dance team, and Bhangra, a Punjabi dance group, were featured at Friday’s performance. On Saturday, Graffiti Dancers, a contemporary dance group, and a cappella group THUNK were the guest features at 7 p.m., and the 10 p.m. show featured K-Dance, a K-pop dance group.

To cap off the annual spring show, Fusion’s four classes of dancers — all named after parts of a chicken — each perform a dance as a group. Per tradition, first-year dancers, the Nuggies, danced to a comedic mashup choreographed by the fourth-year dancers, the Claws. This year’s dance included a series of memes set to “The FitnessGram Pacer Test” and IceJJFish’s “On the Floor.”

Fusion isn’t limited to one major or one level of talent, Morse said. The dance company has a diverse group of performers, stemming from all majors, backgrounds and experiences.

“It’s a group that I don’t think would have come together naturally otherwise,” Morse said. “But we bond over our love for dance and each other.”

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X: @betsy_lecy

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