There are memorable performances every year at Conn. Recitals, dances, capstones, bands, films and more.
And then there is Eclipse.
Profound is an understatement for how I feel every year, walking out of Palmer main stage after Eclipse. Without fail, the multicultural dance show re-instills the pride I have to be a Camel and share a campus with such incredible people. It is powerful, technically stunning, and visually without rival – and it is here to stay. If you failed to see this year’s show, then I, as a person who does not always gravitate toward expressions of racial or cultural identity, challenge you to go. It is breathtaking.
Eclipse is the most tasteful expression of race and identity at Conn. The rhythms, stage lighting, poetic interludes, and the dancing – oh lord, the dancing – are all professional and beyond powerful. From exciting and fun pieces such as Welcome to Our Kiki to performances issuing political statements such as Stand Our Ground, in which dancers wore various Trump blasphemies – Eclipse performers stared their audience unflinchingly in the eye with triumphant smiles, letting us know their empowerment is just as fun for them to perform as it is for us to watch. This year showcased 23 dances (13 in the first act, ten in the second) that honored the variety of identities at Conn through the theme of one’s Roots. From “Por un Segundo la Vida Es un Carnaval,” a dance honoring Latinx culture, to “Ur Waist,” a West African-inspired piece, we witnessed unique performances that added variety to the various tap, jazz, hip hop and contemporary dances that Conn’s dance department performs so flawlessly. This year there were rappers, poets, and drummers alongside the dancers, which further augmented the message and overall flow of the show. Eclipse was seamless and sensible, as it has proven each year I have seen it, and it served as a further reminder of the incredible cast of players and roots we have at Conn.
As mentioned before, if you missed this year’s Eclipse and have yet to go to a show, make sure to attend the Spring 2018 performance. It will be my final one as a Conn student, but with luck, I will be able to attend many more in the future. Next year marks 43 years of Eclipse; let’s dance to many more.