The Hope College Dance department has several different dance companies, one of the biggest being the H2 Dance Company. Auditioned in the spring semester for the following year, the H2 Dance Company has been rehearsing since the beginning of school for their fall concert, which opened on Oct. 26 and ended on Nov. 2 at the Knickerbocker Theatre. This year, the theme for the concert was “Back to Beginnings,” which was an exploration into how different dance companies plan out their performances. The concert featured a variety of different choreographers, each with their own individual style of dancing, who would all create their own interpretation of a beginning.
Opening the show was a contemporary ballet piece by Matthew Farmer titled “Stretto.” The stretto is a classical type of musical form in which several different musical themes or ideas are introduced in an overlapping manner. The stretto form is most commonly found in the opening movement of a fugue, a highly popular style of classical music in the time period of Bach. The smooth movements of the piece served as a lovely opening to a fantastic concert. Following “Stretto,” there were three pieces exploring the more improvisational era of music. “It’s a Man’s World?” was performed as a tap solo by Alex Pasker, choreographed by Crystal Frazier, and served to usher the audience into the world of jazz and swing-style dancing.
William Charles Crowley’s “Shore Leave Swing” transported viewers back in time to the 1940s, and Kristen Farmer’s “Elan Vital” returned to a more contemporary style inspired by Latin/jazz dancing. To finish out the evening, the company performed three pieces with a more modern dance style. “Origins,” choreographed by Sharon Wong, featured Mark Lopez’s original percussion composition. “Origins” was followed by a duet by Matthew Farmer titled “Due e Una,” which roughly translates from Italian to “two and one.” It was the final piece though that really stole the show. “Testify,” a gospel-inspired contemporary/modern dance piece, was choreographed by Crystal Frazier and featured all of the H2 dancers. The piece was largely a crowd favorite and had the audience raving about it in the days following the performance. Tickets for the different dance department performances are free for Hope students and can be purchased by the public and faculty at the Hope Ticket office in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center on 8th St. or can also be found online at hope. edu/tickets.