The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

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Bucknell Dance Company performs “ELEMENTS”: Earth, Wood, Metal, Fire and Water

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The Bucknell Dance Company (BDC) students will be taking the stage this weekend for their annual Fall Dance Concert. This year’s show is the first full-length mainstage production the company has had in twenty years. The show is entitled “ELEMENTS” and is centered around the five Chinese elements: Earth, Wood, Metal, Fire and Water. 

Students have been rehearsing throughout the semester for their three shows. Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2 shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. The show on Sunday, Dec. 3, will be a 2 p.m. matinee. Performances will take place in Harvey Powers Theatre, and tickets for all show times can be purchased through the Bucknell University online box office website or from the box office directly.

Mainstage performance auditions for the BDC took place in August, and 52 students were selected to participate in the production. Students were assigned to one of the five different elements and, as part of the essence cast, participated in the transition of elements. Through this, they have the opportunity to be involved with all the elements. The show is brought together through the dedication of not only the dancers but also the three student and two faculty directors. 

Student director and BDC member Georgia Corbett ’24 shared her experiences with the show this semester. 

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“I have been a part of BDC since freshman year, though the company looked quite different during COVID,” Corbett said. “For this production, I am one of the student directors alongside Hailey Jacobs ’24, Adrianna Rakauskas ’24 (assistant director), Dustyn Martincich (Faculty Director) and Er-Dong Hu (Faculty Director). I am also a dancer in the element of water!”

Hailey Jacobs shared that she has been a member of BDC for the past four years since the fall of her first year at Bucknell. As a director with Corbett, she also dances in, choreographs and directs this production. The faculty directors are Er-Dong Hu, Professor of Dance, and Dustyn Martincich, Professor of Theatre and Dance, as well as the Department Chair of Theatre and Dance. 

Corbett continued, “It is Professor Er-Dong Hu’s last year, and this production has been something he has been looking forward to doing at Bucknell.”

Commenting about the difference between this production and past years, she shared, “Creating a full-length production takes a whole village. Collaboration and communication have been vital to ensure each piece not only represents the element but also connects with the other elements,” Corbett explained. 

“A focus for the choreography has been harmony. The harmony and interactions between the elements are what keep the world spinning. The elements are not meant to stand alone but instead interact and work harmoniously with each other. The choreographers and dancers have worked hard to take this inspiration and represent it through movement,” Corbett said. 

Outside of just the dancing, Corbett explained other aspects that are being incorporated to further the production and display of elements. “We are integrating lights, sets and other spectacular visual elements. It will not be a show you would want to miss. Additionally, there will be a talk-back discussion on the philosophy of the five Chinese Elements by Associate Professor Song Chen after the opening show on Friday, Dec. 1,” said Corbett.

At Bucknell, Professor Chen teaches pre-modern and modern Chinese history, digital humanities and historical sociology as an Associate Professor of Chinese History. 

Cooperation between dancers and directors is a large part of putting together a successful and large production like ELEMENTS. Student dancers of the BDC also shared their experiences as members of the company. 

“I’ve been a part of BDC for three years,” said Taylor Brown ’25, who is also a member of the Dance Program PR team. “I started BDC the fall semester of my freshman year. Joining BDC my freshman year is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Though I’ve only been on it for three years, my time with BDC has felt much longer through all of the connections I’ve made.”

“I’ve been a member of the Bucknell Dance Company since my first semester my freshman year, and I am now a junior,” said Emily Cook ’25. “This show is very different from anything we have done before because all of the pieces are cohesive. It has been really a unique experience to see dancers and choreographers of all different backgrounds and styles come together to bring this vision to life!”

With similar thoughts, dancer Lena DiFazio ’24 shared, “My favorite part of our performances, especially this semester, is watching the whole show come together. During our showings throughout the semester, we watch each piece and its dancers work together in the process of turning a vision into movement. It is extremely rewarding and exciting to see it all finally come together on opening night.”

“This is my fourth and sadly final year in Bucknell Dance Company,” DiFazio continued. “I have been honored to learn from such incredible teachers who truly want to see us grow and share the stage with such talented dancers who I have grown to consider family. I am so thankful for this community we have formed, which will last far beyond our years at Bucknell.”

Anyone looking to watch the five Chinese elements come together on stage can attend the Bucknell Dance Company Fall Dance Concert performances this weekend.

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Juliana Rodrigues, Special Features Co-Editor
Major: Political Science and Philosophy

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