CoLab Performance Climbs to New Heights

by Alexandra Palacios

Over the weekend the CoLab Performing Arts Collective presented its fall show case, a project that has been in the works for months. The interdisciplinary student art organization features gifted dancers, choreographers, musicians and singers from both Columbia and Barnard, who came together for three amazing shows to display their talent and give all types of art a creative outlet. It was a truly fantastic performance; the passion and dedication of these artists were electric and each audience member left the Diana with chills.

Admittedly, I haven’t attended many dance show cases during my two years at Barnard. But when a friend asked me to come support her and her friends at CoLab, I knew I had to make time to see it. Like the night before, the Saturday 2pm show was sold out, a foreshadowing to how fantastic the performance was going to be. The most unique aspect of this performance is in its name: collaboration. This performance was not only diverse in types of dance—there was modern, ballet, tap and aerial performances—but also by representing various other arts. Live music, a bit of spoken word, as well as film and photography were all used to enhance the dance pieces and expand the spotlight. The collaborations between all these different art forms were presented in new and exciting ways throughout the night, and I am sure I am speaking for the audience when I say that it was something that we hadn’t seen before.

Some of the performances that really stuck out for me were the ones that took advantage of the idea of collaboration literally. In the performance “Mance and Duzik,” collaborators Lilly Pearlman and Danielle Deluty incorporated contemporary and tap dance, a fiddle, a bass and Danielle’s beautiful voice, into a mesmerizing blues piece. This performance was not the only one to take advantage of live music. “The Melody of Rhythm,” collaborated by Keren Baruch, cellist and tap dancer, and Yehudah Webster, drummer, was my absolute favorite. Both Keren and Yehudah are talented performers, but there was something so enticing about how they were, simply put, just jamming out together. I spoke to my friend afterwards about how I loved this performance and she told me that there was always a bit of spontaneity with CoLab performance, especially the ones with live music; each time they are never exactly the same. I really liked the impulsiveness of this piece and especially Yehudah and Keren’s facial expressions when they would really get into it, forget there was an audience, and just have fun.

Tracy & Tareq

The final performance was breathtaking—and I say that literally, I actually stopped breathing—by Jack Crawford. In her piece “Falling,” she did exactly that: fall. In this aerial dancing piece, Jack gracefully intertwined, twisted, wrapped and tumbled herself into giant scarves that hung from the ceiling. I gasped “oh my god,” audibly, many times, throughout her performance, and I was not alone. I couldn’t breathe nor take my eyes off her until she finally put her feet on the ground. I had never seen aerial dance live before, and it was a beautifully terrifying act. My arms were sore just from watching her climb her way to the top, tumble to the bottom, and climb back up again.

All in all it was a fun, beautiful and inspired performance. Bravo CoLab! I look forward to your spring showcase.

Alexandra Palacios is a sophomore at Barnard and Social Media Strategist for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Photos courtesy of Ayelet Pearl. To see more of Pearl’s work as well as more photographs from CoLab, visit her page, Ayelet Pearl Photography.

Correction [7:57 PM]: Of the pair of performers, Danielle Deluty was the one singing in the piece “Mance and Duzik.”

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