Choreographers Gear Up for Next Month’s Winter Dance Concert
by Nina Subkhanberdina on Friday, February 10th, 2017
The Winter Dance Concert is always one of the most anticipated events of the year and for good reason. Milton students and teachers dedicate extraordinary amounts of time and energy to perfect a spectacular array of dance routines. Auditions for the show start as early as November, and rehearsals continue throughout the winter season until March. This year, student choreographers have designed a diverse selection of routines shaped by unique combinations of style, technique, music, and tempo.
Sophie Clivio (II) and Catie Wise (I) are choreographing a modern dance for the concert. Sophie described their dance as a “depiction of people with mental illnesses, and how that illness affects a life. It is a dance about control or lack of it.”
For inspiration, Sophie claims that she and Catie “first found songs that we really wanted to dance to, and then found a story that the songs told to us. We chose something that was interesting to translate into dance for us and would challenge us.”
According to Catie, their dance has “a lot of moving parts to it.” Sophie and Catie focused on adding movements that transitioned from smooth to sharp and chose music that would help create the story.
Maya Slocum (I) and Spencer Evett (I) are channeling intense creativity into another modern dance. Maya explained that, in their dance, “each of the dancers represents a specific instrument or voice in the song.” She and Spencer wanted to “create a literal image of what the music would look like when shown through the human body.”
The music that they are using for their routine, Spencer revealed, was written by his brother and recorded by himself. Spencer provided further details about the dance, saying, “The concept is that the dancers are soldiers/warriors suffering from PTSD. The dance is an imagination of a PTSD victim’s dream. I was inspired by a performance I saw of some Brazilian dancers doing very warrior-like and acrobatic movement. So the movement for my dance is very powerful and athletic, but also tortured and frantic.”
Amira Brown (III), Kyrah Daniels (III), and Marho Omusi (III) add flair to the mix with their modern African dance, or as Amira described it, a dance with “an african-club-dance-party-type theme.” Amira’s overview of the dance reveals how the trio wove fun and energy into their dance routine: “The choreography is energetic, playful and designed to get the audience hyped. We found inspiration for our dance by melding afro-beat, traditional african, and hip hop dance styles together. Marho, who is Nigerian, shares her moves from her culture while Ky and I bring hip hop and the traditional african we were taught in dance school. We’re all good friends and we love to dance, so we thought, why not audition to choreograph a dance together?”
Olivia Zhong (I) was influenced by Chinese traditional fan dance in her modern dance. According to Olivia, she mixed the fan and modern dance styles by incorporating Chinese dance details into a modern dance routine that follows a non-Chinese song. Olivia shared that her heritage, culture, and experience with Chinese dance were major sources of inspiration. She emphasized how this dance reflected a desire to combine her cultural identity with a more modern style for her last Dance Concert at Milton.
These dances represent only a small selection of the 15-16 total dances that will be featured in this year’s Winter Dance Concert. Judging from the choreographers’ excitement and the wide range of styles, this year’s concert should not be missed. The Winter Dance Concert will be held on Thursday March 2nd, Friday March 3rd, and Saturday March 4th.
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