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Q&A: Alexandra Loh ’17 and Emily Wohl ’16 on diSiac’s ‘Legend’

This weekend, the lights on diSiac’s fall-semester show go up in Berlind Theatre. Street got the inside scoop on “Legend” from president Emily Wohl ’16 and publicity chair Alexandra Loh ’17, who came up with the show’s theme.

Daily Princetonian: Why is the show called “Legend,” and what makes it unique?

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Alexandra Loh ’17: Our shows in the past have been: You pick a general word like “Heist” or “Rush” or “On the Edge” where there’s no real story that lends itself to it, even though you can still fit pieces under the theme. We went in the opposite direction this year.

Emily Wohl ’16: Our last show was called “Novum,” which was a really general idea of “Something New,” and choreographers really went wild with that — but this year we wanted to try something new, something that diSiac has never really done, which is come up with a story that drives the entire show, instead of a general word that people kind of fit their piece to later when we have to come up with the program. So instead of coming up with a word first and thinking of what could fit into that, Alex came back from the summer suggesting that we look into doing a Greek mythology-themed show. Everyone jumped on board, and we liked the idea of being able to tell stories from the myths. From there, it was actually weeks later, that we realized we need a name because we can’t just call our show the Greek show, so we came up with “Legend” to say that this whole show will be based off of the Greek myths. I think the choreographers did a great job in being inspired by the different myths.

AL: Also, the structure of our show is a little different. We really wanted to challenge ourselves to not just do 12 pieces that don’t connect, where there’s a blackout between every piece, because that’s what our pieces have been before. So we’re really trying to connect our pieces in ways that make sense visually — like one piece ends in a diagonal line and another starts in a diagonal line, so you put them next to each other to transition instead of putting a blackout in the middle. We’re also doing collaborative things, like we have a slam poet coming to introduce a piece, and there’s a violinist.

EW: There’s also a guitarist coming, so there’ll be live music, which we’ve never done since I’ve been here. The transitions between the pieces really make it a production rather than a show that has separate mini-shows within it.

DP: What was the process of creating this show?

EW: In the beginning of the year, we came up with a theme, and then what happens is that the people who want to choreograph can come in and propose their pieces. Because our show was so specific this year, it meant that choreographers had to come in with an idea of what myths they wanted to use, and show a couple of phrases of choreography. Then the two artistic directors, Colby Hyland [’16] and Casey Ivanovich [’17], worked together to pick which pieces will be in the show and who’s going to be in the pieces. We also did something new where we had all of the choreographers and officers meet to talk about the transitions between pieces, so it’s been more collaborative this year. In the past, we would see all the pieces for the first time in the theatre, whereas this year we’ve been trying to work on the transitions in our company rehearsal every week.

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DP: Is there a specific piece or anything else in particular that you are most excited for the audience to experience?

EW: It’s interesting because you don’t get to see the pieces you’re in until we film them. All of my pieces are very different this year, [and] we’re both in one about the Underworld which is creepy and crazy, but I’m also in one that’s a battle, which is very technical and sharp. So I’d say that I don’t have a favorite right now. Also, we haven’t seen the whole show completely put together yet, so that’ll be a whole new adventure with the costumes and the set. (note: at time of interview)

AL: I’m excited to hear what people have to say when they see it, because from our perspective it’s very different from what we usually do. It’s almost a little scary to put it out there because we don’t know how people are going to react. We tried to go a more artistic route this year instead of going for pure entertainment. Of course we’re still trying to keep it accessible, fun to watch and entertaining.

EW: It’ll still lend itself to the students who come here looking for a fun time, but it’ll also hopefully be great for the artists on campus. The goal this year has been to focus on making this a production, something new for diSiac.

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