Since the first show in 2013, Castleton Collaborative Arts has been showcasing just how talented the students are.
This year was no exception.
Through seven multimedia performances, the audience got to see the final product of so much hard work.
For Daniel Jackson, stage name Betty Geuse, it was the culmination of more 200 hours of work. We got to see “Fashion for the Recently Deceased,” a four-look collection seemingly taking inspiration from the fun and bold style of “Beetlejuice.”
Along with the clothes being absolutely stunning, the models walking with poise and sass, Jackson brought a personality to the stage. It made for a funny and visually pleasing performance.
When the stage lit up again, we were met with a contemporary solo dance and a poem reading. Aris Sherwood, poet, and Grace Keane, choreographer and dancer, said they wanted to convey the feeling of being stuck.
And they achieved that.
The poem set the intentions for the dance and gave the audience a context for the abstract movement.
The large group dance that came next filled the theater with intensity. Performed by the Intermediate Dance Course, “Viking March Toward Battle,” felt like just that.
With a lot of partner work and group lifts, it felt as though this group was preparing for war. The thing that stuck out the most, however, was the exit.
Running though the audience and out the back of the theater – and back flipping off the stage –
left quite the impression on the crowd.
In a refreshing break from dance, we were met with “The Beatles Project,” with students acting to the narrative found in Beatles songs.
Director Josie Gawrys said they chose three pieces from the Directing 1 class all portraying family dynamics. All the actors were able to tell a story without ever saying a word, making the audience laugh and even root for these characters.
“Another Year” came with a content warning. It also came with the party.
Ro$e Gold performed his own song and dancers from the Hip Hop dance course performed a piece choreographed by Jahwara Rennalls. There was no shortage of visual interest, between the movements a confetti cannon and Ro$e Gold interacting with the audience.
The piece promised a good time and undoubtedly delivered.
In the days since the performance, controversy has struck up regarding some of the lyrics in Ro$e Gold’s act.
“Changing Course” introduced the audience to modern dance. Done with scarves and beautiful fluid movements, the dancers showed us a story open for interpretation.
Choreography done by Nicole Ullman gave the audience the chance to make their own story based on the movements happening in front of them.
Closing the show was a very emotional piece. “Breaking In,” choreographed by Mason Parece, took the breath away from everyone in the crowd.
Giving us a look at the emotional struggle of gender identity was truly brave. The light design for this performance added another layer of emotion.
At the turning point of the piece, Parece sat in front of three people dressed in all black and they cut away Mason’s long hair. Taking the scissors themself, Parece cut away their own hair, reclaiming the power in the situation.
It was truly moving.
What a great way to end the show.
Audience members were more than happy to share their feelings about what Collaborative Arts means to them.
“I thought the show was really good,” said Ruben Somda. “I am kinda, sort of, an art major and I really like seeing people’s projects. Especially what people have choreographed, because I think it’s really cool to see how they interpret music and how they want to express that to audiences.”
“It was incredible,” said Abby Mayo. “Castleton Collaborative Arts is such a staple for the Castleton community because it shows how vastly talented our student body is. And it’s just amazing to see so much art put together in one place.”
“I think that was one of the best Collaborative art shows, if not the best,” said director Maya Kraus. “The whole point of this is to collaborate with each other or within other disciplines of art.”
The students involved worked together for months to perfect light design, costumes and content to get their show stage ready.
“I think we nailed it,” said Kraus.