This past weekend, Dance and Stepping at Amherst College (DASAC) performed their spring show in Keefe Campus Center’s Friedmann Room titled “DASAC Gets Out.” DASAC, Amherst’s student-run dance group focused on hip-hop, Caribbean and other dance styles originating from the black diaspora, celebrated its 15th anniversary with this show. The group was founded by black and brown students disappointed at the lack of representation of black dance. Each semester, the show is given a culturally relevant theme (last semester, the show was an homage to Beyonce’s newest album “Lemonade”).
With streaming services at peak popularity, binge-watching has become the primary way most Americans consume media, and thus network television has begun a steady decline. Networks such as ABC, CBS and NBC have grown concerned for their futures as Netflix and Hulu increase their amount of original content every year. With the exception of networks such as the CW and Fox, networks are eager for a steady supply of tent-pole shows guaranteed to have viewers tune in weekly. NBC may have found that tentpole with their new family drama “This Is Us,” which just wrapped its first season.
The Amherst College theater and dance department celebrated Valentine’s Day in an unorthodox way this past weekend. Theater and dance major Lauren Carter ’17 performed her senior acting thesis, Charles Mee’s “Big Love,” last Thursday through Saturday in Holden Theater. Directed by department professor Yagil Eliraz, “Big Love” follows three sisters who flee their home country to escape arranged marriages to three men. They ultimately take refuge in an Italian villa, where they convince its wealthy homeowner to take them in, despite his reservations toward refugees.
What keeps people coming back to live performances — even when there’s a good recording that you could sit comfortably and listen to at home — is catharsis. Witnessing an outburst of emotion, even when it is not your own, provides release. I was accustomed to this philosophy as a reflection on theatre, but a piece of music I saw performed this weekend made me consider how the action of playing an instrument can have just as much emotional energy as spoken words in a scene.