Written by: Zenobia Harris, Asst. Features Writer
VSU’s Fine Arts department ended the year with a musical bang at their Fifth Annual Emerging Artist Showcase, displaying the talents of VSU’s “up-and-coming” dance and theater students.
The Emerging Artist Showcase kicked off its first performance with the Student Choreography Showcase on April 23, which featured a variety of choreographed dance numbers. There were different genres of music and dance. Some pieces focused on promoting awareness about a certain cause such “Unspoken Words,” a dance focusing on domestic violence, which was choreographed by Kelsey Johnson and performed by Antoinette Williams.
However, this was not the only piece that captivated and spoke to the audience. Tia Lewis, a VSU student who has attended other Emerging Artist showcases at VSU, said that she was inspired by one performance in particular, a number choreographed by Kia J. Street entitled “So-Me.”
“It was about learning to accept your body and loving yourself for who you are,” Lewis said. “There was a scene where they actually stripped on stage to show all the different bodies and how they are all beautiful.”
The emerging artist showcase is not just a great way to end the year for dance majors, it is also a very special experience for theater majors.
Friday and Sunday’s Musical Theater Showcase featured a variety of musical selections from well-known plays, Broadway musicals and movies like “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from the Little Mermaid and “What is This Feeling” from the Broadway musical “Wicked,” which was performed by senior theater students Chéla North and Jazzë Lewis.
North performed several other numbers during the Musical Theater Showcase including “Poor Child,” “The Miller’s Son,” and “Twelve Children” by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. She said that the showcase is an important time for both dance and theater students, but she feels that the musical theater showcase was particularly special.
“For me, it is important because I can remember my freshman year coming in and seeing the graduating seniors do their showcase and being so impressed!” North said. “Ever since then, all my class has talked about is what we’d do when it was our turn! It’s such a great way to show who you are as an artist.”
She and several other theater and dance majors starred in VSU’s adaptation of “The Wiz” earlier this month. This emerging artist showcase will be the last for several of the students including North, who is graduating in May. She says that the class has left quite a mark on the theater program and has made their last show together “a very happy, yet sad one.”