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

By Robert Mohr

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

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

The show opened with “PMo Love” which was set to “Love on Top” by Beyoncé. PMo Dancers and Agents 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 movements to the stage.

Another highlight was “Little Wing”, a solo danced and choreographed by Corley, starring Wilder McCoy (C’20) on guitar, covering “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix. Corley initially choreographed the piece for a ballet class in his first year. She enjoyed the interaction between the dancer and the musician, citing a similar piece she saw by a professional company, and also wanted the challenge of following a musician live.

McCoy also had his own hurdles: “It was also difficult to set up the amp on the dark stage within the given 10 to 15 seconds of changing the curtain.

As for the song choice, “I chose ‘Little Wing’ because I liked the breeze the song gave me when I was dancing.” Corley said: “I wanted a feeling of freedom and adventure, and choreographing my own piece on a live version of it gave me both.”

Unfortunately for Corley, she injured herself in warm-ups on Friday and only got to dance “Little Wing” on Thursday night.

LeClair took his place, improvising the solo Friday and Saturday: “It was a little scary to improvise on stage; I had never done this before. But it was also exciting to offer movement in the moment.

Corley found an advantage in his injury, however: “To be injured during the second two shows was both horrible and unbelievable. You see it all, and that makes the show so much more precious. You can also see how uplifting the entire cast is. Dancers shout backstage, cheering on everyone who performs, and helping them reach the level of excitement they need to have the best show possible through love and encouragement.

The artists of the class of 2019 bow out on the PMo stage.

“Swinging Through Sewanee” was another audience favorite. The play, directed by Swing That Thing, Sewanee’s swing dance club, featured six couples dancing swing to Kenny Loggins’ ‘Footloose’ 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 mixed 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 thought the variety of dancing kept the audience on their toes, and every routine, whether fast and exciting, or slow and eloquent. [was] masterfully executed.