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highest finish ever
The Purdue Winterguard competed in the Independent A class of the MidWest Color Guard Circuit Championships April 2 - 3 in La Porte, IN, and finished in second place with a score of 83.5. Below, you can see a video of their show. A feature on the group, written before the finals, follows.
The flip side of the Golden Silks color guard that performs precise routines with the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band every fall, is the Purdue Winterguard which lets loose in the spring semester with indoor routines that include dance, gymnastics, rifle and saber twirling as well as the familiar flags.
“Choose Your Groove,” a show that Director Becky Bercich describes as “a little bit silly, a little bit sassy and a little bit punk, is the Purdue Winterguard competition show in the Independent A class of the MidWest Color Guard Circuit.
The ensemble is working towards the Grand Championships April 2-3 in LaPorte, IN. In preliminary competitions leading up to the finals they have placed second three times. It’s hard to judge the group’s true standing, Bercich says, because there’s been a different group of Independent A competitors (groups not affiliated with high schools whose members are under 23) at each event.
But the judges they’ve encountered “are all just really impressed by how far this program has come,” says Bercich. She was a member of the original spring semester winterguard troupe in 2007, and has become its leader this year.
“We’ve known the talent is out there and over the years we’ve been able to tap into it more. We’ve got really good talent in our freshmen class,” she adds. “Now that we have winterguard, it makes our fall season stronger too.”
Their “Choose Your Groove” show allows each member a chance to highlight their particular skills. Using a musical backdrop of tunes from bands like Propeller Heads, John Coltrane, Basement Jacks and The Revels, the team of 20 women and two men, perform on a specially-created disco dance floor that resembles a Mondrian painting, black grids with intermittent squares of the gray and red.
Bercich challenged members to better the skills in their “weapon book,” saber and rifle twirling, to meet the demands of advanced choreography. “Our performance has a dynamic quality because I’ve asked them to dramatically change what they express through their bodies.”
Dance has become a huge element. “We’re not the dance team but we have individuals trained in dance, so we’ve incorporated a lot of dance in show. Through the entire show there’s someone without equipment dancing,” she says.
“The general effect is very good. It flows and has artistic quality.”
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