By Molly Matthews ’22
Need something to look forward to this semester? The Kinetic Dance Collective, previously known as the Koshare Dance Collective, will once again be putting on their annual performance at the Smith Opera House on November 12th and 13th. There will be 19 total dances in the show and a total of 102 dancers taking part.
While the name is different the group itself remains the same. A statement from the collective about the name change states:
“In the spring of this year, following the social awakening of the summer of 2020, Koshare Dance Collective changed its name to Kinetic Dance Collective. This decision was made to more accurately represent our club’s mission and so as not to appropriate the Pueblo Indian Clown society to whom the term ‘Koshare’ belongs. However, our mission to cultivate a community of dancers as a student-led organization remains the same. The integrity of the former Koshare Dance Collective remains intact in Kinetic Dance Collective despite operating under a new, more inclusive name.
Koshare Dance Collective, now referred to as Kinetic Dance Collective, was established in 1971 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges to foster communication, individuality, teamwork, and creative expression through the art of dance. Kinetic Dance Collective continues Koshare’s legacy, celebrating 50 years of dancing in 2021.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, like many other things, the annual show was canceled last year. This year, while there will still be some restrictions such as masks when performing, they have been able to keep things relatively normal. While talking to Bryna Gage and Gemma Carr-Locke, co-presidents of the Kinetic Dance Collective, they spoke about the restrictions. The only real difference between this year and others will be the mask mandates for practices and the performance at the Smith Opera House.
Having to be masked while performing was one aspect that they were concerned about because facial expressions are so important to the performance. While masking up when performing is something they would rather not do, it seems a small price for the excitement of being able to perform again. After losing a whole year of performing, both the co-presidents expressed their joy about being back preparing for the annual show. Because it is the 50th anniversary of the dance collective, this year’s show is a special one, with plans to invite alums back for the performance as well as making a video with past performances and interviews with alums to be presented at the show.
In the past, the collective has not had any activities in the spring semester, but this is something Gage and Carr-Locke want to change. “We definitely want to be more active in the spring than we have been,” Gage said. One thing they want to introduce is the Day of Dance. Day of Dance would be a day where local high school students would be invited to take classes hosted by the members of the collective. This was something done years ago by the collective that Gage attended as a high school student and wants to bring back, to keep the collective active and involved in the community.
Both Bryna Gage and Gemma Carr-Locke are looking forward to being back to performing. As Gage stated, “We’ve made a lot of changes this year to the structure of how we are doing everything, so I’m excited that I’m leaving behind something for years to come.”