HWS Dance Department hosts virtual concert Friday and Saturday.
In yet another first in this unprecedented year, several junior and senior Dance majors and minors have created choreography on film for the annual Junior Senior Choreographers Concert. The virtual concert will be broadcast on Friday, April 9 and Saturday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Following Friday night’s concert, the 10 choreographers will host a talkback session about their works, and Saturday’s concert will be live streamed in Albright Auditorium for a limited audience.
The dance films reflect a diversity of dance styles and feature HWS dancers in solos, duets and trios, taking inspiration from a variety of topics and choreographic research, including activism, mental health and explorations of light, shape and form.
Professor of Dance Cynthia Williams P’20 notes that the students “rose to this complicated challenge. Some had their 2020 Junior Senior pieces abruptly cancelled last year and realized early on in this year’s process how different creating dances for the camera would be. They became videographers, editors, designers and choreographers for this concert, learning many new skills and working under unusual conditions. What they’ve accomplished is marvelous.”
Working outside the regular parameters of Deming Theatre concert production, the dances on film utilize many locations and environments, from the Sunken Gardens at Houghton House to the streets of Geneva, and transform many campus spaces into site-specific arenas for choreography.
Junior choreographers include Rjay Brent ’22, Gemma Carr-Locke ’22, Bliss Doney ’22 and Bryna Gage ’22. Brent’s piece, a duet with Jade Josiah ’22, explores “the Black experience and the importance of friendship,” while Carr-Locke focuses on the tension between “independently living life while being stuck in the comfort and safety of depending on others.” Doney teams up with Jenna Hyman ’22 to celebrate “movement conversations in staircases and open spaces,” as Gage’s piece looks at how “dancers can be concealed and revealed as they move through linear formations under different lights.”
Six seniors are presenting their works. Joy Chen ’21’s piece is “heavily influenced by her continued education and advocacy for members of the Autism community,” and Emma Ibbotson ’21 describes her duet as “reflecting on the capabilities of the human body.” Danielle Naimie ’21 explores “different levels of emotional acceptance, despair and detachment one can experience” while Molly Powers ’21 takes inspiration from “nature and the innumerable patterns of rainfall.” Bella Siddall ’21 creates a film that uses “the element of light to explore movement through different viewpoints” as Ruby Verbitsky ’21 notes her solo is “a portrayal of life in movement that travels through different locations, much like reality.”
The students worked collaboratively under the guidance of Dance Department faculty, providing choreographic feedback for each other as “choreobuddies,” organizing the concert welcome, the post-concert feedback session, Albright Auditorium’s livestream showing, and many other concert production details.
The concert is free and open to the public. For further information, contact Professor Williams or the choreographers.