The Road to Edinburgh

Someone looking for twenty two unique acts, a multitude of styles, and talented students will find all of that and more at the Dance Open performance this weekend. Students have been practicing and getting organized since tryouts last term. Director Catherine Castillo ’06, who has been acting as a “dance mentor” along with Instructors in Theatre and Dance Mary Strong and Judith Wombwell, The purpose of dance mentors is to guide performers by making sure that they are keeping up with regular rehearsals and to give them helpful tips. “It’s going to be great,” promises Castillo. “The dances are amazing. There’s lots of different styles…a little bit of everything.” Everything includes traditional forms such as ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. There will also be “indo-fusion” a mix of Indian dance and ballet, and flamenco. Kathryn Quijano ’08 agrees that people should attend for the show’s many interesting styles. “The performance will have a huge variety of dances…things that people probably haven’t seen before.” Quijano has been working alongside Mary Doyle ’08, Marianna Jordan ’09, Steph Schuyler ’08, and Megumi Ishizuka ’08 on a tap routine. Quijano choreographed the routine with Doyle, and their finished product is an interesting mix of different musical styles. Their performance will start out with Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean, briefly cut out all sound except for their tapping, then finish with The Killers “All These Things I’ve Done.” “People should definitely come.” Quijano insists. “We’ve worked really hard choreographing and in rehearsals.” Unlike last year’s Skyline, which involved short skits, there is no overall theme to the show. However, five of the twenty two acts are interludes involving benches. Mikaela Sanders ’08, a member of Blue Strut, is excited for the coming weekend. Blue Strut will be jazz dancing to Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath”. “It incorporates a lot of canonic sequences, as well as incorporating ballet and jazz style movements,” says Sanders about Blue Strut’s choreography. Sanders, who will also be in a ballet-styled dance with Genevieve Clark ‘08, adds, “We just finished choreographing and perfecting it, making certain that we’re certain about each movement.” Clark, when asked why students and faculty should attend the show, responded, “It’s show-casing a lot of different styles of dance you probably won’t be able to see any other time this year, including Irish step-dancing and contortion” Contortionism will be performed by Cece Yu ’07 and Q Yankes ’07. Yankes says of their upcoming performance: “It’s loud and energetic and really exciting. It’s very innovative.” Yankes explains, “We drew from all of our experience in dance and contortion. We came out with a blend…a new thing.” She and Yu will performing this new style to the sound of “Train” by Goldfrapp. Slam and Hypnotiq will also be performing at the show. Hyponiq is showcasing something original. “Usually we dance to whatever’s popular on the radio; hip-hop, rap, or R&B.” explains Atima Lui ’08. “This time, the music is completely beat-boxed by a student.” Slam will bring its promised stepping, cheering, and even some dancing, but will also change up the performance with a surprise drum lime. New to choreographing, Molly Shoemaker ’08 got the chance to show off her skills with the piece “All That Jazz,” a combination of jazz and tap. “It’s really nice to have student choreographed pieces,” Shoemaker explains. “They’re more down-to-earth than modern pieces. They relate better to the student body.” About the performance overall, she says simply, “It’s very fun…it’s not [too] serious at all.” “You should go to support friends who’ve put their all into choreographing their pieces.” Lui says. “And also the dancers who’ve been working for months.” Shows go up this weekend at 7 pm on both Friday and Saturday. All students are encouraged to come for a fun, energetic blend of styles. The price of admission, three dollars, will go toward the Andover Dance Group’s trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s cultural capital.