campus wide alert

College News

Catawba's Dancin' for Dimes in the Dust Recalls America's 1930s

April 25, 2014

Category: Academics, Events, Students, Theatre Arts


danceworks14.jpg
 Dancin for Dimes in the Dust
(Danceworks 2014)

The Catawba College Dance Program will present its one-act spring DanceWorks concert, Dancin' for Dimes in the Dust, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4 in Keppel Auditorium of the Robertson College-Community Center on campus. The program is free and open to the public.

Visiting assistant professor of musical theatre and dance, Meredith Fox, presented the dance program the task of creating their spring DanceWorks concert Dancin' for Dimes in the Dust around the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Great Depression of the 1930s was a devastating economic time that elevated unemployment rates and poverty, drought, and crime across the nation. Through the bad and the worse, the American people found a sense of comfort in gathering around a source of technological warmth: the radio. This device strengthened bonds between the common people through broadcasts of music, radio theatre, and the news. The radio program most consoling to the masses was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Fireside Chat" series, a collection of 30 radio addresses that covered various concerns such as banking, unemployment, fighting European fascism, and more. These addresses led millions of Americans to renewed confidence in the government and hope in their futures.  

This historical period inspired student and faculty choreographers to create pieces about gangster mobs, the Dust Bowl, Hoovervilles, Broadway revues, and much more in an array of dance styles, such as tap, contemporary, and jazz. Clips of FDR's "Fireside Chat" series will be aired throughout the concert as the dancers transition from one dance to the next.