Carla van der Sluijs chats with Caroline McWilliams, the director of the Dance Society’s show ‘Kaleidoscope’, to discuss the exciting upcoming performance at The Byre.
What is the motivation behind the society’s annual show?
DanceSoc is made up of over 200 members. It’s not only one of the largest sports societies, but one of the largest societies in general. Dance is not exactly a performance sport and most of what we do is behind the studio doors, so this is a chance for members to show all their friends and family what they’ve been up to this year. There’s also the opportunity for the society to showcase who we are as a whole and put our name out there.
Why the theme ‘Kaleidoscope?’
This was devised by our Creative Director Rachael Hastie. She was inspired by the image of a kaleidoscope where all the different colours slot together to form an image. Our show features eleven different dance styles and even more choreographers. It features a spectrum of different styles, motivations and abilities, but they all come together to create an incredible bigger picture.
How is this show different to previous shows from DanceSoc?
I was really keen to see some slightly messy aspects of the show simplified. For instance, we used to include video and photo sequences between the dances, but we’ve removed this to create a sleeker, more fluid transition. We’ve also re-invented the finale to make it more exciting and we’ll be using different parts of the auditorium to achieve this. Another change is that we’re being helped on the technical side of things by our own crew this time (Grace Cowie, Amy Seaman and Ellie Fowler) to ensure that lights and sound run smoothly.
What kind of challenges are involved in directing and what have been your personal ambitions for ‘Kaleidoscope’?
I’ve never directed or produced before and my role is kind of a mix of both, with perhaps more focus on producing. I’ve very much had to work out my role on the go, but I have an amazing committee who have really helped. The biggest challenges have been related to logistics. Typically on the Byre stage you’d have a cast of around twenty performers, which the theatre is designed for. We have 180! It’s been a challenge to find enough dressing rooms, fit everyone on stage and ensure there’s no danger of last minute injuries. The risk assessment took a while to complete!
What is the best part about being involved in the DanceSoc show?
For me, seeing the show in its completed form is the best part. The tech rehearsal has always been fun because you can watch how far everyone has progressed and all the amazing choreography that the teachers have come up with.
Why should people come and see ‘Kaleidoscope’?
It’s something different and not a typical dance show. It’s a vibrant and colourful performance alongside upbeat music. Everyone loves dance, whether they realise it or not. There’s a style in the show for everyone, from ballet to hip hop.
Finally, sum up the show in three words!
Vibrant. Inspiring. Upbeat.
Carla van der Sluijs
‘Kaleidoscope’ is at the Byre 28th/29th April 19.30. Tickets are £8.00 and can be purchased here: https://byretheatre.com/events/dance-society/
Photos by Jamie Jones