Eclipse: a cultural movement
May 7, 2014
A photo of Eclipse cast members, contributed by Calli
Eclipse is one of the longest-running student-produced events at Connecticut College. For over 40 years, students have been coming together to showcase their talents as a means of raising cultural awareness. This year, Eclipse returned to its roots by taking place over the course of an entire weekend. As a new student on campus, being a part of something so historic was empowering and felt quite amazing. I have quickly found myself helping to pull off a spectacular weekend.
Thursday: the cast dinner
On the Thursday leading up to the big weekend, the entire Eclipse cast took over Harris, our main dining hall. The tables in the dining hall were covered with information and music filled the room and set an upbeat mood. Yes, there was even a flash mob which was surely my favorite part of the dinner. I was tasked with controlling the music. When you have a full dining hall and you are the one who cuts the music playing to change the song, everyone notices you. They also notice when you fall off of your chair trying to find the right track. As an Eclipse member, I certainly felt ready for what the weekend had in store.
Friday: the fashion show
For the first time in many years, a fashion show was reintroduced to the Eclipse program. Although 120 seats were set up, almost 200 people attended. They cheered for the models who -- let me tell you -- looked better than the models from New York Fashion Week. Clothes were made, donated and borrowed for this show and all of the collections were flawless. The fashion show also included the Kporma Collection, a cause that works to better educational options in rural Liberia. From our one event, Kporma representatives raised enough money to start building schools.
Saturday: the big day
We sold out Palmer Auditorium! Yes, over 1,200 people came to the Eclipse Dance Show! In fact, the lobby was full, the line was out the door. The mood that night was wonderful. Being backstage with the cast was more fun than you could imagine, with everyone in costume, rehearsing last-minute choreography. Once my piece started, I was just happy to be on stage dancing with friends. I knew people I cared about were in the audience watching and it made me want to perform at my absolute best.
Sunday: Alumni Luncheon
The day after a huge performance is always interesting. You are sore, exhausted and probably a bit nostalgic even though it happened only hours ago. Most of all, you most definitely want to sleep in. Somehow, all of these reasons did not stop us from greeting a few of the alums who attended the show. To be honest, the enlightening conversations we had were way better than a few extra hours of sleep. Annie Scott ‘84 filled in many gaps in our knowledge of Eclipse’s history. She gave us an extraordinary amount of insight regarding the storyline of the pictures that had been shown in the previous night’s past-to-present slideshow. Learning more about the community I joined just made me even happier to be a part of it. Knowing so many people had shared the stage before me, working to accomplish the same things, made it all worth it.
Overall, Eclipse was an incredible experience for me. I made new friends and became a part of a community that truly makes people feel important, talented and supported. I will admit, it is a lot of work. Everything from rehearsals, to planning, to actually performing, will tire you out. At the end of the weekend, we were all exhausted. We were also sad that is was over. I missed having rehearsal on Thursdays and basically living in Palmer the week before the show. Not one day passed before we all started talking about Eclipse 2015...and just so you know, it will be amazing.
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