Perpetual Motion wows Guerry crowd with myriad of dance styles

The Tiger Girls perform “Buck or Die,” a combination of jazz, step, and hip hop. Photos by Matt Hembree (C’20).

By Robert Mohr
Staff Writer

Sewanee’s 31st annual Perpetual Motion (PMo) took the Guerry Auditorium stage this weekend, with shows on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. PMo is a student-run dance production which also features student choreographers and dancers.

This edition of PMo featured 21 dances with 80 dancers. Dancers, who, according to the group’s Facebook page, have experience “rang[ing] from 10 minutes to 10 years.”

The show opened with “PMo Love” which was set to “Love on Top” by Beyoncé. Dancers and PMo officers Annie Corley (C’20), Nellie Fagan (C’20), Katherine LeClair (C’21), PMo president Ashlin Ondrusek (C’19), Kylee Richard (C’21), Oz Pliego (C’20), and Jiwei Wu (C’20) each brought their own unique dances and moves one by one on stage.

Another highlight was “Little Wing,” a solo danced and choreographed by Corley, featuring Wilder McCoy (C’20) on guitar, covering Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” Corley originally choreographed the piece for a ballet class her freshman year. She enjoyed the interaction between dancer and musician, citing a similar piece she saw by a professional company, and also wanted the challenge of keeping up with a live musician.

McCoy had his own unique obstacles as well: “It was also challenging to get the amp set up on the dark stage in the given 10-15 seconds of curtain change.”

As for the song choice, “I chose ‘Little Wing’ because I liked the breeziness that the song gave me when I danced.” Corley said, “I wanted a sense of freedom and adventure, and choreographing my own piece to a live version of that gave me both.”

Unfortunately for Corley, she injured herself during warm ups on Friday and was only able to dance “Little Wing” on Thursday night.

LeClair took her place, improvising the solo on Friday and Saturday: “It was a bit nerve wracking to improvise on stage; I hadn’t ever done that before. But it was also exciting to come up with movements in the moment.”

Corley found an upside in her injury though: “Being injured during the second two shows was both awful and incredible. You see it all, and that makes the show so much more valuable. You also get to see how uplifting the whole cast is. Dancers are screaming backstage cheering on everyone performing and helping them reach the level of excitement that they need to have the best show they can through love and encouragement.”

Performers from the class of 2019 take their final bow on the PMo stage.

“Swinging Through Sewanee” was another crowd favorite. The piece, put on by Swing That Thing, Sewanee’s swing dancing club, featured six couples swing dancing to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and was choreographed by Hannah-Marie Garcia (C’19), Chris Boland (C’19), and Susie Oliver (C’19).

The Tiger Girls performed “Buck or Die,” which blended an acapella step routine with marching band music, rap and Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love.” The dance was choreographed by Kylee Richard (C’ 21) and Adriana Quaidoo-Jones (C’19).

Audience member Avery Frank (C’22) said, “I though the variety of dances kept the audience on its toes, and every routine, whether it was fast paced and exciting, or slow paced and eloquent [was] performed masterfully.”

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