ECU Presents ‘Swing!’ | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Hannah Eccleston.

The East Carolina University School of Theatre and Dance and Loessin Playhouse invite Pirates to immerse themselves in the uniquely American form of popular music and dance known as swing with their latest production "Swing!" (ECU photos by Rhett Butler)

    East Carolina University's School of Theatre and Dance and Loessin Playhouse invite Pirates to immerse themselves in the uniquely American form of popular music and dance known as swing.

    Requiring only joyful enthusiasm and a ready partner, swing exploded out of prewar Harlem's hotbed of youth culture and swept the world. It shattered ethnic and cultural barriers, generating specialty styles such as jive, lindy hop, West Coast and hip-hop swing. "Swing!" celebrates this remarkable diversity to the beat of the most exhilarating songs of the period.

    Madison Bode, a senior graduating in May with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater arts, is excited for her fifth show on the McGinnis stage.

    '"Swing!' has been an incredible process and I have loved working with Tommi Galaska as our director, and I am so proud of our entire cast and production team for making this as beautiful as it is," Bode said.

    "Swing!" has four main singers and swing dancers. Bode is part of the ensemble and has a part singing with a trio in the song "GI Jive."

    "This show is unique from other shows because it's what's called a revue. It takes popular music (in this case jazz) and throws it into a set with light plot points as opposed to a typical Broadway show with a large plot and characters," Bode said. '"Swing!' has a few small plots that connect a few songs together, but mostly, it's an appreciation of swing dance, jazz music and people enjoying live music together in a nightclub."

    Musical theater major Zion Zollicoffer is one half of the lindy hop couple, working alongside dance partner Prisca Arendash.

    Even with this being Zollicofer's sixth performance with the School of Theatre and Dance, he said, "This is one of the most dance heavy musicals I have seen our school do. This production is also directed in a way that the story of each number can be expressed through various styles such as scatting, dance and music."

    The cast, crew and producers of "Swing!" have been working for six weeks to put together an incredible show. "The audience should expect a wonderful time! 'Swing!' is very fun and easy watch. There is no complicated plot to follow so you really can just turn your brain off and relax," Bode said.

    "They should be ready to be taken back in time and feel like they are in the coolest jazz club ever!" Zollicoffer said.

    "Swing!" will be showing through Feb. 26 in McGinnis Theatre. To purchase tickets and view upcoming performances, visit the ECU School of Theater and Dance's website.
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