WCU welcomes the unique and unforgettable

Photo by Kayla Brookshire

Photo by Kayla Brookshire

The story was created with Kayla Brookshire.  

The halls of Bardo Arts Center were filled with gasps of awe and the laughter of children and their parents alike as a group called Galumpha put on a one of a kind physical performance at Western Carolina University on Friday, Feb. 5.

This family friendly show was equal parts comedic acrobatic performance and modern dance recital. The three artists, Andy Horowitz, Gil Young Choi and BriAnna Barnett, told stories and created impossible shapes that amazed the audience by using only their bodies and one or two very unique props.

The three performers showed incredible strength and control over their own bodies as they stacked and intertwined themselves up and around one another.

All of the dances were as bizarre as they were riveting. Many of the dances went along with a wide variety of music that ranged from classical compositions, to melodies with haunting vocals sung in a foreign language, to upbeat country and alternative rock songs.

However in some parts of the show the music was purposefully left out to make room for things wildly alternative options to music, such as beats created solely through the dancers kicking wooden sticks against pans strapped to their backsides. Or they moved their bodies to the sound of Velcro ripping as the three dancers passed balls from hats made out of Velcro back and forth to one another until finally throwing them into the audience. They then incorporated the audience in the show as well by having members throw the balls back for the performers to catch using nothing but their heads.

The audience’s experience was valued throughout the entire evening. All three of the dancers addressed the audience directly, making jokes with them or giving them things to shout that added to the show as a whole. This kept the entire audience, that included all ages, completely engaged and entertained.

“I like actually all of it! I liked the part where the rice fell down from the roof on to…on top of them the most,” said six-year-old audience member Alyssa.

Photo by Kayla Brookshire

Photo by Kayla Brookshire

In another dance, they omitted sound so that the audience could hear the performers breathing as they glided from one motion to another making it look as if the three of them were creating one breath.

Each group member moved in complete harmony as they moved from one carefully choreographed trick to another, placing a foot here or lending their torso to another for support, each of their movements were as exact and calculated as they were effortless.

“See, I love the show. there are moments when you just enter the zone, you know? You’re not even thinking ahead or behind. You’re just right there in the moment dancing and smiling and I’ll catch a look and I’ll see the same in Bri or the same in Gil and it will just… it’s like this is exactly where I want to be right now, doing this,” explained the president and director of Galumpha, Horowitz, after the show

See some of the art they are creating and more from Horowitz.