Campus Picks

Black Arts Company

Celebrating 15 years of existence, the Black Arts Company’s (BAC) upcoming spring performance promises to be hot! You will be taken through a musical journey of Hip Hop and R&B from the 1980s to the present, not to mention a Michael Jackson medley for all you diehard Jackson fans out there. Director Erica McGibbon ’07 hopes the show will "share our enthusiasm for artistic musical expression."

The music also represents the growth of BAC as a company, which former director Dominique Reese ’06 said has "been a really good journey."

The expansion of membership to more than 20 people, from only 10 members two years ago, is a testament to the company’s progress. While the dynamics of being a larger company may pose the greatest challenge for the performers,"even that aspect is not much of a challenge," Reese said.

Most importantly, Reese sees this show as an opportunity for BAC to eliminate prevalent stereotypes, such as the company being "all black." The membership growth has brought in a variety of individual tastes and a diverse group of students. "We are not a one-dimensional organization," Reese said.

Not only will the songs and dances get you fired up, the costumes will no doubt turn some heads. Designed by Nikki Bowen ’08, the outfits are sexy, seductive and raw — what you see is what you get.

For those of you who like BAC just as they were, don’t panic. This performance promises to be as energetic and entertaining as previous shows. According to McGibbon, the show will also feature many games and prizes.

BAC’s 15th Anniversary Celebration will be performing at Theater Intime this Thursday through Saturday, March 3-5, at 8 p.m.

Raks Odalisque

The upcoming fifth annual spring show of the all-female Middle Eastern dance troupe, Raks Odalisque, promises to be as enticing as in the past. Not only will they elaborate on past performances by including more props and more live music, the troupe will be introducing a new element — cane dancing.

While male belly dancers frequently use canes as a sign of aggression, "females use the cane as a partner," said Raks Odalisque president Cristina Moldovan ’06. "It’s very feminine and playful, yet assertive," said Michelle Leutzinger ’05, one of the performers.

The lively music used ranges from latin artist Shakira to more traditional flamenco and Bulgarian folk music, as well as Turkish and Egyptian pieces. A live band playing Middle Eastern frame drums will also perform, adding a new flair to the show.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a belly dance show without the vibrant outfits, including the coin bras and belts that show off the dancers’ stomachs. While members are encouraged to dress in an outfit in which they feel comfortable, Moldovan emphasizes that belly dancing is "about being proud of your body."

Raks Odalisque will be performing "Belly Dance and Beyond!" in the Frist Performance Theater March 3-5 at 8 p.m., as well as on 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Guest performers will include professional dancer Abby Keyes ’02 and other student groups such as Naacho and Kalaa. You can buy your tickets at Frist now.

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