M.U.S.E celebrates unity in movement


M.U.S.E., directed by Loyola Theatre Arts and Dance faculty member Kai Knight, will make its debut Nov. 30 as an original movement piece inspired by individual and group conversations of six performing artists. The piece does so by applying its namesake process: Meditate, Unpack, Synthesize, and Evolve.

The performance is an introspective look at how life events influence perspective, the ability to form community and the desire to evolve, as the show’s promotional materials state: “Life is our MUSE. How we move through it is based on our personal reactions, motivations or inspirations to situations and events. Join us on this movement journey to spiritual evolution.”

Students Christiana Rollins and Kalimay Stewart are in the midst of their first semester as part of the Theatre and Dance Department’s dance ensemble, which is participating in the making of the show.
Rollins, a first-year musical theater major, feels that she has made life-long friends within the ensemble throughout the rehearsal process. “It’s a lot of fun working with so many dancers, differing in levels and backgrounds,” she said.

Stewart, a senior theater and international business major, hasn’t danced regularly for about three years, but said that having the opportunity to dance now is bliss.

“I love to connect with new people through dance,” she said. “It’s nice working with them and being able to discover other people’s personalities through dance.”

Rollins also said that the process has allowed for creativity and fun, amidst all the hard work. “There’s never a time in rehearsal where we aren’t laughing or cracking jokes… honestly, the show felt like a big group of sisters doing what they love together.”

As a team, Rollins said that they bring the fun, the fire, the laughter, the tears, the connection, and most importantly, the love.
“Above all else, there is so much love in this group,” she said. “The dancers and Mamma Kai both put our entire hearts into this entire piece. Every number is a piece of each of us that we want to share with the audience.”

Rollins described M.U.S.E as the “group’s evolution as people.” She said it shows how “our dances and physical movement help us navigate through life, while also depending on the people around us.”

The dance ensemble has been crafting this production since late September, and they are looking forward to showing the finished product for the premiere on Nov. 30.

Stewart said she hopes that the production is a delight to the audience’s eyes but also warned viewers to expect the unexpected.
On the other hand, Rollins said that the audience can expect a little of everything, but most importantly, they can expect a connection to every single dancer.

“We are going to be in your personal space, because we have invited you into ours,” she said.

Rollins added that audiences will genuinely enjoy the individual journeys that the dancers will take them on.

“Leaving here, I hope that we have created an hour of a simple breath for you to be at peace,” she said. “I hope you evolve just as we have, and we hope you fall in love with your evolution as we did ours.”

Written by Arianna D'Antonio 

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