An Unlimited Engagement: Students Take the Spotlight in These Performing Arts Clubs

by Anyi Wong-Lifton ’18

CLAREMONT COLLEGES SHOGO TAIKO
Since 2003, this CLORG has brought Taiko, a Japanese art form combining full-body movement and drumming, to the Claremont community. Members started out using taped-over five gallon buckets, but in 2007 they embarked on a two-year process of making their own drums from wine barrels and rawhide.

“I grew up in Honolulu, where Taiko is a prominent part of Japanese American culture. I believe that music can bring people together in a unique way, and being able to share a part of my cultural heritage makes it all the more special!”
—Kyla Smith ’20, Co-Treasurer

GROOVE NATION DANCE CREW
GNDC’s dancers have backgrounds in ballet, jazz, tap, popping, b-boy, lyrical, and other styles. They not only perform together, but they also provide resources for those interested in learning about the richness of hip-hop culture by organizing workshops, community gatherings, and field trips to Los Angeles.

“Yes, we are dancers—but we are also engineers, theater buffs, mathematicians, world travelers, computer scientists, human rights advocates, connoisseurs of music, and more. The Groove Nation love I’ve experienced over the past few years extends beyond any walls of a studio and past all the lights on a stage.” —Kelly Kwan ’18

WITHOUT A BOX
This improv comedy troupe will do anything to make you laugh, and they’ve won awards for it. Without a Box hosts workshops each week and performs monthly—recent shows include “Laugh, Actually” and “Game of Calzones.” The money raised from ticket sales is used to fund student art projects.

“I hope everyone who comes to our workshops has fun and learns what a benefit regularly doing improv is for the mind and spirit.” —Lauren Eisenman ’18

THE GREEN ROOM
Students perform every role in this theater company: actor, director, set designer, lighting and sound tech, and sometimes even playwright. For their spring 2018 production of the comedy 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, TGR also partnered with the Queer Resource Center to host discussions after the show.

“I love making theater in any setting, but mounting a production exclusively with your peers allows you to work on parts you otherwise wouldn’t and creates a loving, positive, empowering environment.”—Mia Kania ’20

MOOD SWING A CAPELLA
This group’s signature black-and-yellow attire, which they’ve donned without fail for performances since their founding in 2004, is just some of what sets them apart. Catch their eclectic set list—from recent hits by Beyoncé to old favorites by Simon & Garfunkel—at student-run concerts, 5C admission events, and the annual Southern California A Cappella Music Festival.

“It’s the music that brings us together, but Mood Swing is about so much more. Singing with this great group of people every week has been one of the best parts of my college experience!” —Rachel Geller ’18, Co-President

 

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