2024 IW Class Finalist Review

2024 IW Class Finalist Review

By: Trudy Horsting 

Congratulations to all of our 2024 Independent World class finalists! Review their productions below in order of Finals placement.

1st - Fusion Winter Guard (95.400)

Fusion’s poetic production So Fair So Sweet So Sharp humanized the written word. This show was filled with partner work and weight sharing, representing the connection and love between partners. The high-energy production was enhanced with animated performers and clean execution. The movements and choreography perfectly captured the musical notes and the even rhythm of the poem, bringing the words to life. A simple light pink and blue floor was the perfect backdrop for these performers, as they let their movement and equipment be the primary visuals of the production.

2nd - ETUDE (93.600)

Etude had the audience reminiscing about the good old days. The show felt effortless, and every movement was clean, precise, and graceful. Benches that rocked added additional movement to the production. These Days Are Gone began with a stunning ensemble dance moment followed by the entrance of a beautiful green flag line. A graceful switch of flags between performers  followed by a powerful rifle entrance kept your eyes fixed on the floor. These performers ended their production sitting next to one another, peacefully reminiscing on beautiful memories.

3rd - Blessed Sacrament (93.500)

Blessed Sacrament started their show, Chaos Theory: Feel the Bern…stein off with a bang with a moment of organized chaos followed by a flag feature at the beginning of the performance. Without a pause, rifles and sabres joined the scene. Animated performers brought high energy to this production, personifying the chaos behind creativity. From one moment to the next, moments of controlled commotion backdropped by orderly lines were alternated with moments of perfect synchronous harmony. Blessed Sacrament was at ease on the floor, confidently executing impressive skills. A final rifle feature toss left the audience craving more of Blessed Sacrament’s creativity.

4th - Paramount (93.400)

The “Harbingers” kept the audience on their toes with a variety of soundtracks. Effortlessly navigating different tempos and long pole props, Paramount showed the audience their skill. Yellow and red skirts amplified the graceful movements of the performers and a giant flag matching the pattern of the floor signaled what was to come. Paramount flooded the floor with exquisite rifle choreography, and nuanced symbolism in every count. A swinging black pole at the back of the floor added another element to this fast paced and entertaining show. Paramount’s confident performers left the audience signaling for more. 

5th - Fantasia (91.700)

Fantasia’s production For Gabriel began with performers dressed in all black ominously moving across a white floor streaked with darkness. As the show progressed, the music became darker and more chaotic. At the peak of the darkness, performers clustered in the center of the floor suddenly revealing a performer dressed in lighter colors. The music shifted and became joyful and calm as more performers ridded themselves of their black outer layer. Perfectly executing this emotional shift, the final performers dressed in black were assisted by others to help them remove their darkness. In the final moment, performers hugged one another in warm embrace, having found hope and light within the dark.

6th - ORIGINS (89.300)

Although ORIGINS may have been Confined, the audience couldn’t confine their excitement while watching them. White poles restricted performers to different sections of the floor, and they spent the production experimenting with creative ways to escape. Cut outs pieces of floor created further constraints for the performers as they navigated the narrow areas in-between. Tight knit bright red flag work in the back corner of the floor surrounded a pod of rifles, confining them to just inches of space to spin. Executing this production took trust, skill, and exquisite precision. Throughout the show, performers relied on one another to break free and in the final moment, the last performer was pulled past the barrier, confined no more.

7th - Juxtaposition (88.700)

Juxtaposition was Off the Chain in their 2024 production with exquisite choreography and shimmering uniforms to match. From the first moment of the show these performers conveyed sass and confidence. Juxtaposition brought a massive chain to life, in each moment finding innovative ways to incorporate the giant loops within their choreography. Performers hung from the links, tossed through them, rolled them, did handstands on top of them, and more. The chain motif was also replicated on their flags, and in their connections with one another. This high energy number revealed to the crowd that we are all connected.

8th - Mirage (87.850)

Mirage had the arena loving their production. The performers moved organically across the floor and with one another in their 2024 show The Origin of Love. Portraying the simplicities of human love and connection, this show touched the hearts of the audience. As the show progressed, brown stones were cracked open to reveal beautiful, shimmering geodes, symbolizing the beauty and uniqueness within each of us. An ensemble sabre moment left the audience in awe and a gorgeous flag feature and innovative rifle tricks drew the eye. In the final moments of their production, pairs of performers found and connected with each other around the floor, demonstrating the need for human connection.

9th - Vox Artium (87.400)

Vox Artium brought new meaning to the phrase entertainment value in their production God Save the Queen. This show took the audience back to 1553, telling the story of Queen Mary the 1s and her ruthless rule of England. Fierce performers, matching the energy of the queen’s brutal power, ruled the arena. Exquisitely executed weapon work, some atop narrow stairs, showcased the skill of these performers. As the audience chanted along to “bloody Mary,”  the performers executed a brilliant flag feature. Finally, the team revealed a mirror smeared with blood and the queen herself covered in red, visually portraying the essence of her legend.

10th - Onyx (84.900)

Onyx let their choreography speak for itself in their production Where From? Here. The music of the show was a singular sound repeated over and over in different variations and speed. Performers impressively and effortlessly executed clean choreography without a traditional soundtrack. The show began with a pile of benches stacked like stairs center stage where rifles were exchanged from the highest level. Performers creatively held silks creating their own backdrop in the arena and dancers produced intricate shapes across the floor. The sounds of the silks moving crisply through the air with precision added to the soundtrack of the show, leaving the audience in amazement.

11th - UCF Pegasus World (84.700)

UCF Pegasus World brought wild animals to Dayton in their production Hybernaculum. Skillfully navigating black cage-like props, these performers found a myriad of creative ways to envelope their bodies within the metal. This high-paced show was lively from beginning to end. Neon uniforms brightened up the floor and the musicality of the choreography was unmatched. A tight block of rifle and flag choreography was a highlight of this production, as performers moved with ease in exceedingly close proximity. Ending their show centerstage, intertwined with one another, the final sound of slithering snakes echoed through the arena.

12TH - Malachi (83.350)

Malachi brought maturity, longing, and connection to the floor with their production Without You. Various moments of partner work took the crowd’s breath away as performers relied on one another throughout the show. An incredible rifle sequence with another performer clinging to the back of the spinner brought audible gasps. Each moment of the show portrayed deep emotion and yearning from every performer on the floor. As the show concluded, whiteness breached the darkness as the floor folded over and white flags enveloped the space. The final dancers moved with grace and passion, leaving the crowd wishing that they could stay with them for a few more moments in the arena.

13th - Tampa Independent (83.050)

Tampa Independent appeared to have no Gravity as they floated effortlessly across the floor and across marble tabletops. Moving with grace and poise, performers in this production were the epitome of elegance. Rifle tosses down the line of tables centered on the floor, light teal flags spinning on tabletops, and light and airy dance to complement it all, together made a harmoniously balanced production. A beautifully crisp flag feature, layered with the table props was a perfect representation of the unity of this team. A few final rifle tosses left the audience on their feet and was the perfect ending to this stunning show.

14th - Icon Winter Guard (80.950)

“My Favorite Clown,” performed by Icon Winter Guard portrayed hard working clowns traveling with a circus. Complete with a juggler, these circus performers showcased to the audience the realities of performing to make a living. Despite their hardships, these clowns maintained their animated expressions and persona. Ensemble rifle work, graceful body underneath flowing flag choreography, and perfect characterizations made this show impossible to lift your eyes from. A flag feature with beautiful floor work was a highlight of this show. At the end of the production, the clowns ended on the opposite side of the floor from where they started. The same clown who began the show stood on their own, ultimately leaving the floor in dismay and fatigue.