Deion Sanders is flying into town this weekend to see BodyHype’s spring show, so I really can’t see why you wouldn’t just make the ten minute trek over to Theater Intime.
No really. Neon Deion has been text messaging BodyHype president Natasha Kalimada ’07, whom he met while clubbing in Puerto Rico this year over intercession. I was there in the dark, sweatshirt-and-frist-salad-container-strewn theatre when the message came through. The company was waiting around for their tech rehearsal to begin – sprawled in various positions over the stage, executing various stretches, pushups and sit ups – when the beep sounded. Natasha stepped lightly down from the stage and slid past several rows of empty chairs in the audience to retrieve her phone. She looked up at the stage and relayed the news. A general outcry arose.
Tash got a text from Deion Sanders!… What did he say?… He might come to the show!… He might come to the show?… Who might come to the show?… Deion Sanders is so hot!… He’s coming to the show?… What about Puerto Rico?…
The show is a nice mix of jazz, hip hop, and lyrical modern, the cast has great energy, and it’s your last chance to see talented seniors Kristin Arnold, Marissa Swenson, and Zaneta Clark on the stage. A particular highlight is a powerful, very polished, very primal piece guest choreographed by BodyHype alum Sharon Park ’02, who now dances professionally.
The company also boasts eight freshmen this year, including three who were classically trained and on track to dance professionally in the ballet world: Julie Rubinger, Elizabeth Schwall, and Jennie Scholick. One of BodyHype’s newest members, though, is Mimi Murley ’07. A former DiSiac dancer, Murley made the switch after fall semester this year. BodyHype is lucky to have her on its side; she brings excellent technical training and a natural grace to the stage, and has already started choreographing for BodyHype.
Speaking of which, DiSiac and BodyHype, I’m happy to learn, do not actually hate each other. Max Maisonrouge ’07, a DiSiac dancer, loves BodyHype so much that he’s stage managing for BodyHype for the third year in a row. “The student body believes there’s this huge rivalry between DiSiac and BodyHype,” says Maisonrouge, “but the dancers themselves really like and respect each other.” Just as he’s adding, on second thought, “don’t put that in about how I love BodyHype,” dancer Julie Rubinger ’09 saunters by and smothers Maisonrouge with a hug. The two exchange terms of endearment, and Maisonrouge begins to brag to me about Rubinger’s credentials.
I see immediately why Rubinger caught my eye in the pieces the company has just run on stage. Last year, she graduated from the prestigious Walnut Hill School for Performing Arts, and she plans to dance professionally after Princeton. Even in the hip hop pieces that don’t showcase the ballet and modern technique she developed in high school, she stands out for her energy, full and exuberant performance, and ease on the stage. No wonder that, as a freshman, she’s already been elected assistant artistic director. The piece she’s choreographed for the show – a Movin’ Out-esque partner piece to the song “Accidentally in Love” – is adorable and astonishingly professional for a college company. As good choreography does, it makes every dancer on stage look his or her best, and perfectly confident in the movement. BodyHype can only be headed for great things with Rubinger at the helm, and she’s as glad to have BodyHype as it is to have her. “BodyHype is the best thing about my Princeton experience so far,” declares Rubinger with a broad smile.
There really is an incredible amount of talent in BodyHype, especially among the girls – from freshmen to seniors, from ballet to modern to hip hop technique – so it can be slightly frustrating at times to see them perform pieces that might have come into focus just that little bit more clearly with a couple extra rehearsals. Exams and JP’s and Theses will always take their toll on the Princeton artistic endeavor though; dancers have to expect that when they choose Princeton over performing arts colleges.
I can’t promise that Neon Deion will actually be in the audience, but I can promise a well-done show and high-energy. I’d try to say something funny about Deion, but I think he dumped ice water on a reporter once.