Dance brings life to a house

Freshman general studies major with a concentration in dance Madeline Aldana performed as the mother in duet in the red room. This section of the performance was choreographed by junior psychology and general studies with a concentration in dance major Alexis May. Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar

In this section of the performance, the dancers formed the walls of the room whispering malicious things to the girl in black as she tore pages from books. At the end, she lifted each dancer's head. Annie Goodman/The Lion's Roar




Dance Performance Project brought a house to life for their main stage concert titled “In This House.”

“The concept was a portrait of a group of family and friends living under one roof sharing memories, past experiences, future endeavors, emotions,” said Director of Dance Keith “Skip” Costa. “Ranging from suicidal thoughts to depression to happiness to love to a relationship with a mother and a son, and culminating at the end with a revisit to each room of the house, as a touchstone I call it, the audience can go back and take a few seconds to dwell on each room as we tell the story.”

The show was held Nov. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Vonnie Borden Theatre.

Freshman general studies major with a concentration in dance Madeline Aldana feels the concept grew as the show progressed.

“I thought it was original, and it just kept building and building upon the original concept,” said Aldana. “It grew into something that was greater than I had, personally, ever expected.”

The different sections of the dance took place in different “rooms” noted by colors and furniture.

“I think that they worked really hard to explain not only the theme of each room, which was with color,” said Costa. “Each room had its own individual color with a prop to accent whatever room they were in in the house. The costume matched each color. The emotion was represented in each room with the color. So for instance if you were yellow, there was a sense of a bit of warmth of relationships between family members, adults and children.”

Aldana performed as the mother in a red-colored duet.

“I thought it was really good,” said Aldana. “We were all feeding off of one another’s energy. Being the closing show, a lot of us had emotion. A lot of us put emotion into our performance, so I thought it went really well.”

Aldana was able to connect with her role in the duet.

“The most memorable part of this show was probably my duet because it really resonated with me and personal experience I’ve had with my own mother growing up,” said Aldana. “So, it was really easy to connect with it, and it meant a lot to me.”

Costa was also able to find a personal connection to the mother-son duet.

“Two of the more memorable rooms were the room of the mother and son, specifically the second time,” said Costa. “If you were paying attention as an audience member, the mother had aged and the son had come back into her life, specifically from college, which maybe the audience didn’t know that. She had a longing for him to be in her life, and as she became older with changes in the movement and her hair turning grey, it became a longing for a mother and son to always have contact for the rest of their lives. It was very personal to me. It reminded me of me and my mom. I’m a mama’s boy.”

Costa found the bathroom scene to be memorable as well.

“Another one, it was really dark,” said Costa. “It was the bathroom. The color was white. It was symbolizing depression and loneliness. The dancer was in the bathtub the entire time, and that was probably 40 minutes into the work where she’d come out. She was revealed all soaking wet, and images in her head came out. They tried transforming her. They tried to strangle and drown her until at the very end they succeeded. She took her own life at the end.”

Costa explained how the dancers personified the house by becoming the walls and bringing them to life in certain scenes throughout.

“The wall was always there watching, and the wall became a part of the manipulation,” said Costa. “The wall viewing the family members and manipulating them to where she, it was a woman in this one, would want to see the transformation in this family.”

Aldana feels it was the welcoming nature of the group that allowed the concept to become the performance that it did.

“It’s been awesome,” said Aldana. “They’ve been such an accepting group of people and just so inviting. Especially as a freshman, I feel like they really welcomed me into their already formed group and that’s how the show blossomed into what it became.”