Students Use Dance Labs to Experiment With Choreography

A. NEAL/The Phillipian

Rose de t’Serclaes de Wommersom ’22 used Dance Labs as an oppurtunity to gain experience performing in front of an audience

As the melody of Noah Kahan’s ‘False Confidence’ began, Rose de t´Serclaes de Wommersom ’22 stepped out from behind the curtain and into the spotlight of the Modern Studio stage. Swinging her arms, she dropped to her knees before rolling around to reach behind herself.

“She [held] herself in various dynamic positions, and almost resembled a statue. I suppose she seemed to express sadness throughout her piece. She turned her body away from the audience at one point, and when the music became more upbeat, she almost pushed herself forward as if she was reaching for confidence before she tumbled back to represent loneliness,” said audience member Emilia Sanz-Rios ’22.

Dance Labs, directed by the student-run Dance Board, was held last Friday evening in the modern studio in Borden Gym and showcased the choreography of Co-Head Jackson Diodati ’20, de t´Serclaes de Wommersom, and Katherine Wang ’21. The choreography of all three dancers differed in dance style and allowed dancers to experiment with new movement patterns in a low-stress environment.

“I think it’s important for Andover to have both big events like Grasshopper and Dance Open, but also [small ones like] Dance Labs so we can build up to those big events,” said de t´Serclaes de Wommersom. “What is so great about this opportunity [is that] we are three very different dancers who enjoy distinct styles, and who came together to perform in one show.”

Wang performed a neoclassical contemporary solo to the piano piece ‘Nightingale.’ Throughout the dance, Wang experimented with new choreography by blending the rhythms and textures of the music with both sharp and soft movements.

“My piece is a solo that melds the line between ballet and contemporary styles. It is about someone finding light and hope in the midst of grimy darkness and discovering beauty in the details. This is the second time I have performed [in dance labs]… I have definitely changed a lot as a dancer and choreographer since then. I have been able to develop more of a style and confidence in my movement, while also finding ways to challenge my comfort zone,” said Wang.

Diodati performed a tap solo to ‘Ain’t No Man’ by The Avett Brothers. As an organizer of Dance Labs, he claims that the event aimed to give students of all dance backgrounds an opportunity to perform. The Dance Board will continue to hold Dance Labs as the school year progresses.

“I think it’s really important to host Dance Labs because it gives people a chance to showcase what they’re thinking about or to try something new without the pressure of a large performance,” said Diodati. “Even if they have never danced before, it is a low-stress, no judgment dance performance that everyone is invited to participate in.”