‘Art Soup’ fuses the arts departments

“Art Soup” captivated audiences on April 26 and 27 with music, dance, acting, and visual art.

With an assortment of creativity and collaboration, Castleton’s “Art Soup” performance exceeded the bounds of traditional performance, captivating the audience for the second year. The display was a celebration of art in all its forms, made possible by the combined efforts of VTSU Castleton teachers, staff, students and community members.

“Art Soup” overtook the audience in a flurry of live music, dance, and theatrical energy from the moment the curtains rose. Every performance showcased the many talents within the Castleton community and was a tribute to the commitment and devotion of its creators.

“The idea is to bring together the different artistic disciplines within the Fine Arts Center because you have the theatre department, which includes the dance department, then you have the music department, then the visual arts department. We’re all just in our separate little sections of the building, so we wanted to create a collaborative performance where those different artistic disciplines can work together,” choreographer Zoe Murr-Hillard said. 

Student Vidur Katyal was apart of the show as a choreographer and a dancer. “It was one of those It brings our departments together. Even for my piece of Ken, the instrumentalists, dancers, singers, and actors came together with lighting and sound design to make that piece,” Katyal said.

Hillard said the name “Art Soup” started as kind of a joke from Stephen Gross, the head of the department, but in the end, everyone loved the fun name, and it stuck around. 

“Art Soup” started its show with the number “Carnival of the Animals.” This piece included many assortments of different kinds of animals. There were lions, aquarium animals, cuckoos, fossils and swans. The piece was choreographed by Hillard, along with one of her favorites out of the show, “Story of Life.”

In Hillard’s intermediate dance workshop class, her students turned their personal stories, into movement. 

“It was a collaborative dance. We worked on it all semester. We started the first week in January, trying to think of ideas. It was a really fun process to see unfold. A lot of it grew out of personal stories to create movement. That’s why we ultimately titled it “Story of Life,” Hillard said. “Some of these students have never danced before, and some are more experienced. This became a beautiful weaving of their stories that was so beautiful. I was so proud.”

Another standout moment came with “Life is Like a Runway,” a dynamic fusion of fashion and dance that brought the glamour of the catwalk to the stage. Choreographers Abigail Hunter and Sarah Serrano integrated elements of style and movement, captivating the audience with every step.

“Greased Lightning” brought an electrifying energy to the stage and soulful rhythms were brought with “Take Five.” 

Art Soup wasn’t without its fair share of challenges as well, but that didn’t stop the team from putting together the show. “There are always challenges about timing and everyone’s availability especially when we do around 4-5 shows a semester. It was very hectic but a lot of fun,” Katyal said.

“Art Soup” delivered a diverse array of performances. Each number, choreographed by Natalie Angel Curtis, Vidur Katyal, Alexandria Schermerhorn, and other talented individuals, showcased the depth of artistic talent and expression within the Castleton community.

For the last number of the performance, all of the bells and whistles were brought to the stage with a fun, light-hearted performance of “Am I Kenenough.” Choreographed by Vidur Katyal, Zoë Marr-Hilliard and Alexandria Schermerhorn, they brough the Barbie movie to Casella’s stage using songs from the movie. 

As the final curtain fell, “Art Soup” left a tasteful mark on all who experienced its fun. It was a performance of collaboration, creativity, and community. Castleton’s production of “Art Soup” proved that when individuals come together in pursuit of a shared vision, the result is nothing short of extraordinary.

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