Monday, November 22, 2010

Young Choreographers Showcase Their Works at Valencia

Valencia’s 12th Annual Choreographers’ Showcase displayed dance numbers entirely comprised of student works, Saturday night. With music by artists such as Hans Zimmer and Rusted Root, the performers moved with the direction of a colored light show to the beat of their own ideas.

Shana Heath, choreographer of the show’s second piece, “Dance in the Sun,” said there were some difficulties organizing her dancers. “It’s not easy getting your dancers to see your vision,” said Health.

“Not everyone hears the same thing,” choreographer of “Versus,” Kristin Edsel said.

The weeks of practice must have paid off in the end, as two audience members in particular found more than a few things praiseworthy about the show.

“I think the third piece was really creative,” said Christen Price, who has aspirations to be in musical theatre. “The transition from [the sound of] frogs to music was a little awkward, but overall it was well thought-out. Even though they were all doing different things, they came together nicely.”

Bonnie Kerlin said, “I was really surprised to see that style of dance. With this the audience really evolves with the dancers, when you don’t know what to expect.”

As a completely student-run operation, the choreographers managed their own rehearsal schedules and either borrowed some moves from past recitals or invented their routines from scratch.

“It’s all experimental,” said Ashley Hymson, choreographer of “Inside,” a dance number in which all four girls wore straight-jackets and twitched and jerked according to character.

“At one point, I just raised my hands in frustration and someone said, ‘That looks good, let’s go with that,’ so we did.”

Although most of the choreographers had danced in many shows over the semesters, this showcase was the first opportunity some had to display their own works.

Kristina Stevens, the stage director, said this was also the first time that auditions were open to the entire college, not restricted to those with majors in the arts. About five people from outside of the theatre and dance departments performed during the showcase - this was after a month of auditions and a process of adjudication by a panel of judges who reviewed the dancers.

Some students from the University of Florida served as guest artists for the evening, to bring their talent to Valencia.

For more information, please call the Performing Arts Center Box Office at 407-582-2900.

Previously published in the Valencia Voice

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chi Epsilon Chapter of PTK Inducts New Members

“People fall into malaise, angst, and inaction” when faced with a wealth of easily accessible information, guest speaker Dr. Valerie Burks said, in her message to the new inductees of Phi Theta Kappa, Friday night.

“My end goal is to do the best at learning well. My grandfather always said, ‘The day you stop learning is the day you start dying,’” said Alex Adams, sitting with his fiancee, Katie Smith.

Quoting Nietzsche’s essay, “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life,” along with a South Park episode, Greenday and Ralph Waldo Emerson, Burks said that people from this generation tend to become immobilized by their advanced knowledge of the past. This can lead to inaction in the future, if it is not assessed and put to use properly.

The Fall 2010 inductees into the Chi Epsilon chapter of PTK promised to do just that, as they became the newest members of the honor society.

Raising five children, who are all in college, Eric Tanyhill supported his wife, Holly, as she stepped up to receive her membership gifts.

“We are very competitive as a family,” Tanyhill said. “To keep up with the conversation, we had to go back to college.”

As the “Oath of Membership” declares, these members will be using their personal motivations and new-found fellowship as a basis for giving back to each other and the community.

The west campus chapter will be sponsoring a project to assist in bone marrow transplants during the month of December. “One chapter is actually going to Africa to help distribute clean water to people in need,” said Robert Stio, president of Chi Epsilon’s PTK.

“I had a good GPA from the start, but I had to work to get more credits to join,” said Patrick O’Connor. “It was kind of hard, working on different classes, helping with kids, house chores. Doing this has helped me a lot with time management.”

Lacy Bail, 17 years-old, helped her mother run the family business, while maintaining good grades, and overcoming other obstacles which lead to her induction to the society.

They were each given a rose and a scroll as they signed the chapter roster, sealing their names into the history of the club.

Previously published in the Valencia Voice

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” Brings the Past to Life

Through a special arrangement with R&H theatricals, the Valencia Character Company performed the musical play, “Carousel,” Saturday night.

“Carousel” is a play based on Ferenc Molnar’s “Lilliom,” surrounding the lives of an everyday mill worker who falls for an every day fair barker. In this case, Julie Jordan (Beatrice Roberts) and Billy Bigelow (Paul Hambidge) suck all of their friends and family into this swirling escapade of drama, sacrifice, labor and love.

“It was really hard to say to her [Julie,] ‘you’re better off,’ after Billy died,” actress Karyln Koebe who played Julie’s friend, Carrie, in the play. “How can you even say that to a person?” she said.

This was the fourth production that Roberts has made an appearance in and Koebe’s tenth or fifteenth.

“I liked that they did a very classical musical,” said Seth Lindsey, a Valencia student who is directing a show next week at Breaththrough Theater.

He said he was anxious to see how the appearance of the stage turned out. “The set makes me happy, I had seen it in pieces and parts, but never in its entirety and it makes me very happy,” said Lindsey.

University of Florida student, Deborah Christopher, attended the showing to support her twin sister Dorothy who played Arminy.

“She was really excited to be in the show,” Christopher said, “She just rehearsed for fun.”

The troupe sang, danced, and acted according to how people must have lived on Coney Island during the early plantation days of America, with a few personal experiences thrown in.

“Enoch [Snow] put on a new suit and it was like he was a different person,” student Brenna Warner said after characters Mr. and Mrs. Snow settled down and started building their sardine business.

“Carousel” was directed and produced by Julia Allardice Gagne, with choreography by Lesley Brasseux-Rodgers. Tim Hanes and Alan Gerber led the orchestra.

The show will go on through the rest of the week, starting again on Oct. 28 - 31.

Photos by Amy Cuccaro

Previously published in the Valencia Voice

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Smelly Cat

I'm just adding a little fun to this otherwise "professional blog."

Smelly Cat by Phoebbe Buffay (Friends)

and some niceness just for you to listen to on this beautiful, 56 degree weather, day in Florida.