THD-365 Students Culminate Term’s Work in Choreography Show

The lights morphed, dancing from yellows to blues, pinks, and greens. The dancers leaped across the empty black room while the rest of the room remained still. As the music climaxed, the performers collapsed onto the ground, and the sounds died down. The roar of clapping from the audience overwhelmed the room.

The Choreography Class Showcase took place last Friday in the Modern Dance Studio. Comprised of five total pieces each choreographed by a different student in THD-365 and ten dancers, the performances covered a variety of themes including unity, individualism, and reflections.The pieces also showcased the technical skills of both the choreographers and dancers. The night progressed smoothly, and in the end, the performers considered it a success.

“I think what made it such a successful performance is how much work everyone put into it especially the choreographers. They’ve been putting in time inside of class and outside of class to make it a great performance, helping and directing the dancers to make sure that we knew what was expected of us, and what we needed to do and being great leaders overall,” said Jeffrey Steele ’20.

Members of the choreography class, taught by Erin Strong, Instructor in Dance, had to choreograph a dance piece using the skills and techniques they learned in their course for the night’s showcase. Although the performance itself was a big aspect of what the class was about, some choreographers felt that their favorite moments and most of their growth came during their preliminary explorations of the modern style.

“The best part was definitely the process of creating, for me. I had only done Chinese dance before, so not only was this my first time doing modern dance, [it was my first time] also choreographing modern dance. Ms. Strong showed us many examples of the Dance Open videos from previous years, and also took us on a trip to Boston dance shows where we got our ideas,” said Candy Xie ’21.

Although the showcase itself wasn’t plagued with any major setbacks, many of the performers agreed that one of the main challenges they had to overcome had to do with timing, whether it be within the piece in regard to syncing the dancers’ movements, or trying to find time outside of the studio in to schedule rehearsals.

Steele said, “We couldn’t necessarily figure out when we wanted specific moves to happen and also get it to be all in sync, which was especially important when you are trying to do a dance about conformity, making sure everyone’s moves looks similar and are happening at the same time. That was a big struggle, as well as finding time that everyone could meet because we’re all very busy, so we had to find a time that would work for everyone.”

Audience members appreciated the display of art and athleticism.

Ben Fu ’21 said, “I think it went pretty good; it was fun getting to watch all of the performers dance, and get to put on a show for all of us. Nothing crazy bad happened, and I think it was just a fun time for both the audience and the people that danced.”