Unrelenting means not giving in. Not letting up. “Unrelenting” is a dance number choreographed by Marygrove College Dance alumna Zandria Lucas, ‘12 and recently performed on campus for visiting Fellows from the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA) Forum 2012. Nine minutes of captivating movement told a story set to the lyrics “Will I?” from the Broadway musical, RENT. Nine minutes of perpetual motion penetrated the hearts and minds of its riveted audience.
“Will I lose my dignity?…Will I lose my tomorrow?” The athleticism and strenuous requirements of the dance are second only to the unfolding story of community that was enacted—a story familiar to anyone who has ever had a conflict in life and sought to resolve it with the help of others— only to come out of it feeling exhilarated, proud and resilient. [Resilience.]
There were moments when the spectators in the studio were overcome with emotion. Beauty can do that. But the tears that day were a profound reaction to a message that was more like a whisper, eluding the ears and the brain and leaping straight to the heart. Even after several months, the dancers said they weep at times, too. It is a platform that is hard to put into words, because it really transcends them. [Transcendence.]
Throughout the performance, Marygrove Dance Company Manager and Dance Recruitment Counselor Jonathon Cash watched intently from the back. He says Unrelenting is a work that is so difficult, many dancers simply do not have the physical strength to perform it. A recent Marygrove graduate himself, Cash currently scours the country for urban dance students willing and able to make their marks on this fine, established dance company.
Known for their poignancy, Marygrove’s Dance programs never disappoint. As the students’ bodies were rising and falling to their knees—rising and falling, it begged the question: how many times has Detroit risen from the ashes? “Unrelenting” peels back layers of triumphs and challenges, exposing what it’s like to build community, revealing what it takes to be an urban college. And like Detroit, Marygrove is transforming. [Transformation.]
Read more: Building our Leadership in Detroit. Tell the story. Tell the truth. Be Unrelenting.