Sailor Moon, Luigi and Avatar: The Last Airbender were only some of the characters recognized at the first Summer Cosplay Celebration in Somerville on August 1. Hosted at the Center for Arts at the Armory, this all-ages event attracted some of the Somerville area’s finest dancers and video game, anime and manga enthusiasts.
Organized by Eugenia Kim, the Summer Cosplay Celebration in Somerville featured 10 performances, ranging from solos and duets to larger groups. The inspiration behind these pieces was drawn from a myriad of video games, anime and manga, and the styles of dance included hip-hop comedy, interactive improvisational movement and other forms of modern dance.
Some dancers and choreographers also mixed techniques with media. “Accelero,” a piece choreographed by Merli Guerra and performed by Merli Guerra and Kimberleigh Holman featured a Wii remote to track movements across a screen [created by media designer John Guerra]. Other pieces such as “Snap,” choreographed by Meghan Riling and performed by Calamity Co Dance, provided the audience a list of commands to repeat in a “coded” sequence.
Amy Caine, a freelance dancer and member of Penumbra:Exchange, had been looking forward to the event. “I’m a huge gamer — I’ve been one since I was a baby. I love role-playing games [and] ‘Chrono Trigger’ is my favorite one. Eugenia and I have been talking a lot about creating a piece for video games, and I had to do something to this music.”
Ceremoniously, the final performance was a Super Mario Bros. mash-up. Choreographed by Sean Bjerke and performed by Sean Bjerke, Thorn Lim and McKersin Pervilus, “IT’S-A-ME! MARIO!” closed the show before the raffle drawing, where participants either received a ticket by dressing in a costume or paying for their ticket.
For dancers like Caine, the following Summer Cosplay Celebration is something to anticipate. “There’s not a lot in Boston that combines video games and dance. I’m just going to keep playing video games and dancing, keep them separate for now, but if another opportunity like this comes up, I’m going to do it.”