WRITTEN BY: Caitlin McGeehan
LoveTU, a night of “embracing self-love, resilience and hope,” did exactly that among the performers and audience as many of Temple’s performance groups lit up the Underground stage this past Thursday, February 13th.
The Wellness Resource Center sponsored the event, which was a, “unique opportunity to see different groups on campus…come together,” as co-host for the show, Kyra Skoog, commented.
The Temple Tappers took the stage first with their wooden boards on deck to amplify the rhythms of their tap shoes. They gave an energetic performance of their infamous legacy routine to “Better When I’m Dancin’” by Meghan Trainor, along with their Valentine-themed dance to Sigala and Ella Eyre’s “Came Here for Love,” with a smile on every member’s face.
Azura Tyjabi of Babel Poetry Collective took the stage next, and fully exemplified the self-love theme of the night while performing her piece, “Golden Repair.” With her rhythmic cadence and detailing of how imperfect cracks in people let the light in, per Leonard Cohen’s quote (“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”), she inspired the audience to love and forgive, which she had set as her goal.
Pitch, Please and their two powerful, alto-sounding soloists set off the energy of the audience, who cheered after each instrumental breakdown or powerhouse belt from the soloists. The a capella group nailed the instrumental of “1950” by King Princess, and their enthusiastic dancing and bouncing during their performance of “S.L.U.T.” by Bea Miller translated to the audience.
With their matching team logo shirts and colorful bandanas, Dare To Dance executed a mixture of contemporary and hip-hop in their performance to the song “I Believe.” D2D got everyone excited: the audience who yelled after each spectacular spin or backflip, and the dancers themselves, as one of their captains hyped them up from the side of the stage. The dance even ended with a row of members jumping off the stage onto the floor– definitely going out with a bang!
Singchronize sang “Not Your Way” by MisterWives, “a body positive song” as the co-hosts Kyra and Ryleigh described it. They owned the song with a jazz-voiced soloist and beatboxer, along with their grooving throughout the bridge and breakdown.
Ramajay, Temple’s West Indian Dance Team, showed their style with a routine to a remix which included “Brown Skin Girl” by Beyoncé and “Year for Love” by Voice. Halfway through the upbeat cultual dance, the dancers held flags from nations such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago to represent the culture they showcase in their dancing.
Temple Gospel Ministries got the crowd clapping during and after their song. The audience clapped along to “Love Theory” by renowned choir director, Kirk Franklin, as the group sang uplifting lyrics such as “I don’t wanna love nobody but you.”
Broadway on Broad’s Sydney and Saad embodied Lady Larken and Sir Harry from the musical “Once Upon A Mattress” as they sang the duet of “In A Little While.” As the title suggests, the two characters will make their dreams of having a life together will come true ‘in a little while.’ Sydney and Saad portrayed the message perfectly and lovingly, complete with stage blocking and all.
Another Babel poet, Vriddhi Vinay, closed out the night with the versatitlity of love in her piece, and how love can exist from toxic to healing, as she explained. She had grit in her voice and flowed from line to line. Her piece was a perfect way to end the night of performances–reminding the audience of love’s many forms.
Throughout all of the performances, a Tyler student, Monica, was drawing a piece that was raffled off at the end of the show. The breathtaking art included a heart with people dancing inside of it and the heart’s eyes crying. She attributed her inspiration to “passion.”
LoveTU was an event that spread the love and talent at Temple and left everyone in the audience with a little more love in their hearts for Valentine’s Day.