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

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