“Intertwine,” the fashion-show, dance recital and charity auction orchestrated in collaboration by Fashion@Brown and Fusion Dance Company, brought a lively performance to Alumnae Hall this past Sunday evening. The event was “the most unique thing that F@B, or Fusion or Alumnae Hall has ever done,” according to F@B Design Head Seabass Immonen ’23.
On the night of Dec. 5, Alumnae Hall boomed with a mix of EDM and orchestral music as members of Fusion sashayed across the floor in their F@B-designed costumes. One dancer donned a purple bodysuit with Lady-Gaga-esque sparkly shoulder pads. Another wore a billowy white tulle skirt with black bows sewn all over it. A third performed with a green woolen beanie and a pink tulle veil.
As 22 dancers in 22 uniquely designed garments whirled around the floor, audience members bounced along to the rhythm of the music. What Immonen called “colosseum-style” seating allowed for an intimate viewing experience. The audience and performers shared the space, with seating arranged in a circle around the dance floor.
At the end of the 15-minute performance, the dancers lined up for a final catwalk. As dancers walked through the center of the circle, audience members were able to get a closer look at the clothes that groups of two to four F@B student designers had created.
Then, each Fusion dancer reunited with their F@B design team for a silent auction where audience members would have an opportunity to bid on their favorite pieces. Proceeds from the pieces were split evenly between the Project LETS Mutual Aid Fund and the F@B Design Team's Spring Collection. Project LETS (Let’s End the Stigma) works to provide support and community-building for individuals suffering “from mental illness, trauma, Disability and/or neurodivergence,” according to their website. Donations for Project LETS were also collected at the entrance of the performance.
“Intertwine” resulted from a true collaboration between F@B and Fusion. At the start of the semester, when Immonen had the idea to collaborate with a dance troupe, Sydney Taub ’22 — who is both a Fusion member and F@B Vice President and Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion — connected him with Fusion.
According to both Taub and Immonen, the process of developing the show involved a great deal of collaboration between dancers, choreographers and designers. The designers who volunteered for the project attended several of Fusion’s rehearsals and consulted with their assigned dancer about what they wanted their outfits to look like. The F@B heads then picked a selection of songs that would make the audience feel like they were at a fashion show.
“The designers chose the music for the piece, which is interesting because typically the choreographers would choose the music,” Taub said. “Instead of the music informing our movement … the garments are what is trying to inform our movements, because each dance is a unique piece.”
“Intertwine” was only the second time that dancers performed in their F@B garments — the first being their dress rehearsal earlier in the week. This, in addition to the improvisational nature of the performance, allowed for their movements to be “very real instead of very staged,” Taub said.
Audience members shared this sentiment. Jo Kavishe ’25 said that “it felt more like a cohesive show” than other F@B events or Brown dance performances.
The “combination of freestyle and choreography” allowed the performance to “showcase (each garment) through improvisation, but there are also moments where we all come together and it’s cohesive,” Taub said. “We get to see how different garments work on different dancer’s bodies both with their movement style and the way that the garment is composed.”