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NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Review: Reignite Dance Concert emanates variety and passion

Photo courtesy of NMSU Camera Club member, Damian Carranco.

Beginning on March 1 and concluding with a matinee performance on March 3, NMSU’s dance team put on their first show of the semester, Reignite, a showcase filled with vibrant performances.  

The show was two acts total consisting of a short intermission and seven dance numbers organized into each. While dance is a medium that could potentially lend itself to repetition, the show was anything but. Each number was incredibly self-contained, captivating the audience from the moment the music started until its conclusion.  

The show featured performances across styles of dance, including tap, contemporary, hip-hop, and Latin ballroom.  

“I really wanted to highlight everything that our program can offer, and I think that was met for the most part,” said director Ryan McMullen.  

The show’s energetic opening piece, Latin Festival, was perfect for audience engagement and interest. The audience was eager to show their enjoyment of the piece by cheering for every complicated motion and dip. The dance was one of the shorter pieces in the showcase but stood as a perfect opening for such a high energy show.  

The following piece introduced Amelia Dunn, one of several performers who featured in multiple dances, and choreographed some of the performances. Dunn, along with other student Graven Babe put together multiple numbers as part of the months long creative process.  

“It was a lot of work, it was a quick turnaround since the semester just started, but it’s what I want to do and it’s really nice to be living the dream,” Dunn said.  

Dunn’s solo performance, Diary, featured a dance set to a monologue from contemporary horror movie Pearl. Dunn showed the fruits of her efforts in a tightly choreographed piece that showed her body control and dance skills and her talent as a choreographer.  

The first act was broken up by TEN GALLON, a video performance that came as a surprise to the audience who had been watching live performances up to that point. This was achieved through a collaboration with local dance company Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, who have been artists in residence at NMSU since August.  

Photo courtesy of NMSU Camera Club member, Damian Carranco.

The second act featured a bombastic opening, with performances from the Pride of New Mexico band’s mariachi performers and members of the ballet folklorico. The energetic opening served the second act well, since it brought the audience back into the performance seamlessly.  

The second act’s standout performance was its Tango Forte, which featured a live violin performance that paired well with the traditional tango piece. Like the earlier cha-cha Latin Festival, this one had the audience voicing their enjoyment, shouting out the names of dancers and cheering.  

Like the first act, the second featured a video collaboration from Jennifer Akalina Petuch, a collaborator and friend of director Ryan McMullen. This video featured a single dancer underwater, a hypnotic performance that allowed the viewer to catch their breath in between energetic flamenco and tap performances.  

The show concluded just as energetically as it began, with a ten-minute hip-hop piece inspired by house dancing. Using bright neon lights and relaxed costumes to illustrate the idea of dancers at a club, it was the perfect high energy closing for a show that managed to keep the audience entertained for its entire 90-minute runtime.  

While the performance was meant to highlight the dance department, not every performer on stage was a dance major. Sophia DeGregorian is not a dance student but loves the art form and is happy to see the support that the audience has for the department.  

Photo courtesy of NMSU Camera Club member, Damian Carranco.

“We’ve been practicing these pieces since the beginning of last semester, and it feels good to finally be performing them on the big stage. It feels very rewarding,” DeGregorian said.  

Overall, the performance was very well paced, using modern music and dance techniques to keep the audience interested in the medium. Energetic and vibrant, the show used every minute of its two acts to keep the audience entertained.  

While Reignite has since closed, those interested in seeing the dance program in action should stay tuned for their upcoming Dancing with The Faculty competitive showcase. Tentatively set for May 3, the showcase will feature performances from dance students and their non-dance professors at Rentfrow Hall. 15-20% of ticket sales will go to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice.  

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About the Contributor
Madeline Nielsen
Madeline Nielsen, Staff Writer
Madeline Nielsen is a freshman at NMSU majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. This is her first semester at The Round Up as a writer. She is excited for the learning experiences in Student Media and in college at large. She is originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, and graduated from St. Michael’s High School in 2023. In High School, she participated in creative writing and theater, and is excited to continue working with all facets of student media in college. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and painting.

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