The Invitation Game

As a dance major, I'm required to participate in a minimum of six theatre and/or dance faculty-directed productions. There are various ways you can participate -- for example, some Theatre majors focus on lighting, and they participate in shows by running the lights or the sound board. I've fulfilled my requirement by performing in shows. Sometimes, these are quick shows, like when we put up Forgiveness Lunch in three weeks, and other times its a more drawn out process, like Body of Water.

This year, I participated in a rather lengthy process for The Invitation Game. As I've mentioned previously, The Invitation Game was conceived and choreographed by Professor of Dance Jane Hawley. Beginning in September, ten dancers met 8-10am twice a week to put together 50 minutes of continuous, strenuous choreography. All ten dancers were on stage and moving for the entire 50 minutes. Once a week, we met with a chiropractor to be a part of her research.

After J-term, we had a few short rehearsals to get the choreography back in our body. We then quickly started working with musicians and putting together the other four stations for the show!

Our dance was on the "main stage" of the event, a 2-foot elevated platform that could be watched from all four sides. Around the platform were musicians who played live music for the event. Additionally, there were four stations for the audience to participate in, as they were invited to move their bodies as we moved ours! One station involved headphones playing various genres of music in a spotlight so people could have a solo dance, another station had a parachute which would uncover people posing as statues, another station involved a trapeze for people to move on while others sketched shapes they saw on a big sheet of paper, and the final station livestreamed footage of people dancing by reading their body's heat and projecting ghost-like images on a screen. People were invited to either dance or witness, meandering around for the duration of the piece, either involved in their own thing or watching Jane's choreography.

I was lucky enough to have my parents and my best friend and her family (essentially my second family) come and visit the event. Truth be told, I was a little nervous about what they would think as this piece is so very different from a traditional dance piece, but they seemed really taken by the whole thing. It was so nice to have a Decorah weekend with them!

You can view more images of the event here and here.

The Invitation Game. Choreography by Jane Hawley. Photo by Laurie Meinholz.
Me cheesin'. The Invitation Game. Choreography by Jane Hawley. Photo by Breanna Pierce.

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