Posts Tagged ‘student dance concert’

Spring Dance Features Interesting Mix

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Cats consult with Cinderella about going to the ball

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The Idyllwild Arts Spring Dance Concert, held for three days this week, featured a nice mix of ballet, modern and jazz.

Standout pieces included Cinderella, and contemporary ballet and hip-hop pieces from two guest choreographers.

However, the final piece, featuring video and poetry from the seniors, was an emotional good-bye.

The show opened with a grand production of ‘Cinderella,’ with their own twists. After being told that she cannot go to the ball, Cinderella (Madison) consults with cats (instead of mice). But its the seasonal fairies who convince her to go. Big show stealers were male dancers Cemiyon and Gilbert, as the wicked stepsisters, with stepmother Gerard, all dressed in drag.

(from L) Cinderella (Madison) celebrates with Lani (fair godmother) and the fairies

The fairy godmother (Lani) and spring/summer/winter/fall fairies (Gina, Giovanna, Cheyenne and Adrianna) were all played beautifully by senior dancers.

The fairies’ ballet costumes were not the traditional starched variety, but colorful and flowing, making one yearn for spring. (Ten inches of snow arrived the day after the show’s end).

Will Dingledein, a 2011 dance grad, was in attendance for all three shows. He laughed his head off when Gerard, as stepmother, scolded Prince Charming (Mauricio).

“He stole the show!” Will said during the first intermission.

“Le Papillon,” a modern ballet by guest choreographer, Josie Walsh, was funded by a grant from the AEL Foundation. Given the title, one expected to see butterflies, but the opening showed dancers rolling other dancers wrapped in cocoon-like materials.

From 'Pas de Quoi'

The piece, which also featured the original music by Josie’s husband, Paul Rivera, Jr., featured sound effects like echoes, which piqued your interest.

'Lotus' was a hip-hop piece by guest choreographer Brandon Aiken

The costumes, sheer peach long dresses, were elegant, yet functional. In the end, dancers wrapped themselves in the same material as capes that were stepped on by other dancers.

It was artfully choreographed, and a treat to watch its transformation.

‘Lotus,’ by guest choreographer Brandon Aiken, told a different story. Borrowing from “West Side Story,” the hip-hop piece featured a dance-off contest between two rival dance gangs. Torn between the two were star-crossed lovers, played by Allison and Gilbert.

Paris, who was adamantly opposed to the pair, was perfectly theatrical. Hip-hop music by Chris Brown, Lil Jon, young Jeezy and Wale kept the crowd enthralled.

Senior dancers Giovanna and Mauricio

‘A Leaving,’ the last piece, featured an emotional good-bye from seniors, Adrianna, Cheyenne, Natalia, Lani, Mauricio, Gina, Giovanna, Delaney, Allison, Madison, Sorrelle and Gerard. Each took their turns at the microphone, citing poetry and memories over the past four years.

“I am a bird, high up in these trees,” Cheyenne said. “I am home.”

“We stuck our heads in the earth,” Delaney said in a voice over during her dance solo.

“Lizard dust fills my mouth,” Madison added. “Making it hard to say good-bye.”

Towards the end, a full-screened black-and-white video depicted the dance seniors walking away in the snow. Voice-overs talked about first loves, heartache, gratitude and self-actualization.

It was also peppered with humor.

Spring dance featured a nice mix of dance styles

“Even after four years, people still don’t know if I’m Gina or Giovanna,” Gina quipped.

At the final bow, the audience was on its feet, clapping, cheering and shedding some tears.

Wednesday night’s concert was featured on U Stream on the academy’s web site, www.idyllwildarts.org.

Angela, the school’s receptionist, was glad to be able to watch the dance concert from the comfort of her own home.

 

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Andy leaps in the air over his fellow dancers

 

 

Cemiyon in 'Pas de Quoi'

 

Fall Dance Concert Opens Tonight

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Delaney's dramatic pose graces the promotional posters. Courtesy photo.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., the Fall Dance Concert will open at the IAF Theater on the Idyllwild Arts campus.

There will be approximately nine dance numbers, including modern, jazz and classical pieces. One unusual ballet piece, choreographed by staff member Jonathan Sharp, has a modern twist.

“I’m so excited that I’ll be in Jonathan’s piece,” exclaimed Simian, a new dancer.

Originally from Mississippi, Simian earned a scholarship to attend the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program this past summer, and Jonathan recruited him for the academic year. In general, there are about five female dancers to every male dancer.

Simian explained that Jonathan’s ballet number is about cuisine, but also a love triangle.

“It’s about a pot, a potholder and a spatula,” Simian explained.

“It’s really funny,” another dancer said. “You should see Simian jump!”

Simian said that in one number, he leaps across the stage. A feat that not many dancers can achieve, I’m sure.

Gerard, a graduating senior, will be in three ballet numbers.

“It’s good practice for me,” Gerard said. “I’m looking forward to the show. It’s going to be great!”

Ellen Rosa, head of the Dance Department at Idyllwild Arts, is just back from maternity leave and looking sharp. In her absence, Jonathan Sharp was acting director.

Ballet dancers during student choreography last year.

Last week, Ellen said practice was going well, and the dancer on the poster was Delaney, a senior.

The Fall Dance Concert opens tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the IAF Theater (in the Bowman Building) on the Idyllwild Arts campus. The show runs Thursday and Friday nights. All concerts are free and open to the public, but arrive early to get a good seat.

For more information, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Published on: Nov 16, 2011 @ 16:47

 

Yep, Student Choreography Moved

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Sorrelle performing in one of the pieces in the Student Choreography Dance Concert. Courtesy photo.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

As the school year ends at Idyllwild Arts Academy, there is a mad cumulation of recitals, concerts, readings, plays, and art shows to attend. Sometimes two are three are scheduled for the same night, and you have to choose. Yet, one event stood out because it moved.

The “Student Choreography Dance Concert 2011” was held for three nights, from May 11 to May 13, in the Lewitsky-Fisher Dance Studio on campus. Every night, after the thunderous applause, attendees would spill out into the parking lot and gather in groups by their cars talking about which one they liked the best. Sometimes they lingered for a long time.

That happens a lot at events at Idyllwild Arts Academy. People enjoy the performances so much they don’t want to go home. If they could simply hit “replay,” and watch it all over again, they would.

Gina performed in many pieces but choreographed "Nerds."

Needless to say, the “Student Choreography” was packed every night. Even though the program lasted two hours, some students admitted to attending all three nights. There were 19 dances listed in the program complete with interesting titles, such as, “Look What I Can Do,” “Kneeling Before God,” “December Follies” and “Nerds.”

The 19 dances listed in the program was a significant increase from the 13 performed last year. Each junior and senior dance student created a piece. Some chose to perform their own choreography, while others did not. Yet, each of the 19 choreographers performed in as many as three other dances. The junior and senior dancers included: Christina, Gerard, Ariann, Morgan, Adrianna, Cheyenne, Geneva, Delaney, Will, Madison, Gina, Giovanna, Sorrelle, Lani, Ximena, Allison, Olivia, and two Natalias.

It would be impossible to review every dance, therefore we’ll just hit a few highlights from the final performance on Friday, May  13 (which was not an unlucky evening at all!)

Laura's song, "Time Bomb" was featured in Adrianna's dance piece, "The Last Ones Standing." Courtesy photo.

“Look at What I Can Do,” was perfectly titled for Morgan, a new dancer who plans to become a circus clown. His story focused on two dancers, himself and Christy, his love interest. As dancers would come in and out across the stage, Morgan would juggle, perform difficult acrobatic moves and whistle along to the circus-like music.

“The Last Ones Standing,” a piece by Adrianna, a senior, was notable for its music, which included XXX, Lykke Li, Postal Service, and Laura, an Idyllwild Arts film student. She was surprised that “Time Bomb,” the song that she wrote for one of the movies last year, would be used to dance to.

Everyone around Laura kept nudging her during Adrianna’s performance, saying, “That’s your song!” But she already knew.

“I had come to the dance studio the day before to get something, and heard them practicing,” Laura admitted. “It was really cool watching a dance performance to my own song.”

(from L) Ximena, Cheyenne and Amira's arm movements create a dramatic scene in Geneva's piece, "Pointless."

“Tonic and Gin,” by Natalia, was one of the crowd pleasers for its fun and festivity. The piece begins as Andy, one of the dancers, drinks from a wine bottle and staggers across the stage. The seven dancers, in peasant costumes all dance merrily to the music by Beirut. Props like balloons, the bottle, and flowers in the girl’s hair added a nice touch.

“It was so very European,” one woman exclaimed, as she sat cross-legged on the floor.

“December Follies,” choreographed by Delaney, featured three dancers to simple piano music. It must’ve been bittersweet for Delaney, as she stood in her leg sprint on the sidelines. A couple of weeks earlier, she had been rushing to a Sunday practice, and twisted her knee.

“Oh, my God! What happened?” screamed Jose, a fashion major, along with dancers Gina and Giovanna, as they got off the school van, and headed toward Delaney strapped in a gurney inside the ambulance with red flashing lights.

Delaney, who had been through this many times before with her knee, took it all in stride.

Adrianna in full dramatic makeup. Courtesy photo

“It looked worse than it was,” she said.

Yet, as Adrianna, Marianna and Sorrelle slammed down to the floor, and dragged themselves by their arms across the stage, one couldn’t help but think “December Follies” was about a recent accident.

“Kneeling Before God,” the Lady Gaga piece before the intermission was a huge crowd pleaser. It wasn’t surprising that Will would use Lady Gaga for his music and inspiration. In fact, two years in a row, Will has dressed up as Lady Gaga for Halloween, complete with dress, wig and six-inch heels. Yet, this time, he left the Gaga costumes aside, and just stuck with the glittery makeup.

“It sounded like one piece, but it was really five mixed into one,” explained Kai, a film major, who mixed the Lady Gaga music for Will. The five songs included: “Alejandro,” “Bad Romance,” “Pokerface,” “Telephone” and the “Vitamin String Quartet.”

Just like Lady Gaga, Will likes a big performance. Not only were there eight dancers with glittery tears (including Will), but three shirtless male models (er, theater and visual art students) who brought in the large columns.

Will danced and choreographed the popular Lady Gaga-centric piece, "Kneeling Before God." Courtesy photo

A fast moving strobe light enhanced the Michael Jackson-type unison moves, as Lady Gaga sang, “Judas is coming/let the baptism begin.” When the music ended, all eight dancers were sweating and smiling happily, but none more than Will.

After intermission, some of the people had cleared out, and there was room to breathe in the Lewitsky-Fisher Dance Studio.

First up was “Cualacino,” choreographed by Madison, and the only ballet piece in the all-modern show.

“I can’t blame them,” Maddy said afterwards. “We perform so much ballet every day, that everyone just wants to choreograph something else.”

Yet, with its four dancers in chiffon tutus and point shoes, to calming classical music, it was a welcome break.

Madison choreographed the only ballet piece in the show

“I picked four younger dancers that I knew who loved ballet and could pull it off,” Maddy said.

The four dancers included: Anna, Ximena, Annalise and Isabel.

Ximena held her own in “Kouche,” a modern piece with five dancers in similar navy and white dresses, who danced mostly in unison. It focused on one particular girl, Natalia, who kept pushing the other dancers away, until finally, in the end, she was left all alone.

Other choreographers brought in models or mixed up crazy music, but Olivia brought in another type of dance altogether. For “If I Should Die,” she invited Ryturo and Mitch, two theater majors, who knew how to dance hip-hop.

“I choreographed the hip-hop part,” explained Ryturo, who was shown leaping on the Spring Choreography program. “And Olivia did the rest.”

Morgan and Madison performed "Simple Wishes," an acrobatic piece by Cheyenne. Courtesy photo.

Although the hip-hop parts was brief onstage, it added a different tempo to Olivia’s modern piece.

“Bambara,” the final act choreographed by the other Natalia, was epic in its magnitude. Like Will’s piece, it featured dramatic makeup, costumes and a large number of dancers. The jungle sounding music used heavy drums and bird sounds to create an intense and chaotic story.

The seven dancers, looking like wild animals, began the piece huddle together in a large cage. As the jungle story enfolded, the dancers would leap, crawl and dance back and forth across the stage. In the end, only two broke away from the pack, and the cage, to form a new life.

Everyone knows that choreography is the brains behind the show. It takes time, skill and practice to put on a good show. This year, these 19 juniors and seniors have “raised the bar” a little higher. Their efforts were appreciated. It was truly spectacular to watch.

For those who missed it, keep looking for excerpts to show up on You Tube.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved. Special thanks to Ryturo and Idyllwild Arts Academy for all of the dance photos.

Published on: May 27, 2011 @ 8:59

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