Spring dance performance to showcase a mixture of styles

Spring dance performance to showcase a mixture of styles

Join us for this year's spring dance performance, Covers/Remixes!

Friday, May 19 | 8 p.m. | KFAC

Saturday, May 20 | 8 p.m. | KFAC

Get your tickets at the door!

$6 | Adults

$4 | Students and senior citizens

WRA faculty, staff and students can attend for free

In February, Fine & Performing Arts Department Faculty Emily Barth and her student-dancers began to prepare for the spring dance performance, Covers/Remixes. Their second and final school performance is an opportunity to present their technical skill, their athletic ability and their gift for performing fun, complex and high-energy dances in a variety of styles.

This year's production is no different.

"There's a little bit of everything in this performance," said Barth. "We'll have ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop — and, within the finale, we will even have a little bit of tap and basketball going on!"

The theme of this year's spring dance production is fluid — Barth wanted flexibility to create fitting pieces without any limitations. In a sense, each dance has its own theme but the unifying element of the performance is the music, which is an eclectic lineup of song covers and remixes.

Seated in the audience, viewers will hear remixes of contemporary songs, such as The Chainsmokers' Closer and popular standards, like Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's Feeling Good, and covers of recognizable tunes, such as Stand By Me by Florence and the Machine.

"Each class has its own personality, so I really try to fit the music to the classes' disposition," said Barth. "And I think I captured it pretty well this time! One of my highest energy classes will be performing a jazz number with the Closer remix. They have fun, but they also work really hard. The song gets really heavy in the middle and has this cool breakdown, and when the beat drops, it really just exudes them. That's the best way to put it."

For one of the dances, entitled Sweet Dreams, The Academy Choir will perform the music, directed by Fine & Performing Arts Department faculty Midge Karam.

Those who enjoyed the fall dance performance will be similarly delighted by the spring show, which will demonstrate the dancers' progress over a year's hard work.

"It's always important to me to show growth," said Barth. "Artistically, creatively and technically. I always try to make the choreography more challenging but still appropriate for them. It's always amplified the second half of the year, which is really nice to see."

Unlike the fall dance performance, this production will include five very special pieces — a collection of duets, solos and group dances designed by students themselves.

This year's choreographers are Lexi Shoemaker '18, Olivia Chan '17, Lisa Shen '17, Serena Gao '18, Sash Davis '18, Duncan Ostrom '17, Keila Delgado-Cruz '17 and Camila Tobon '17. Their dances will follow the music theme and show a mix of styles, including contemporary, jazz and latin ballroom.

"Keila and I really wanted to bring our culture into the community as much as possible," explained Tobon. "I had this idea behind what I wanted, but I didn't know exactly what it was. I knew I wanted to bring something to the community that they've never seen. Something that was fun, upbeat, that worked with the theme of the performance... We ended up creating a dance that has samba, salsa, belly dancing and even some contemporary dancing."

Tobon is a professional ballroom dancer who began dancing at 5 years old — before attending Reserve, she even spent her sophomore year learning from home to accommodate a 14-hours-a-day practice schedule. Her choreography and dance partner, Delgado-Cruz, also has immense experience as a dancer. Tobon has greatly enjoyed this chance to show their combined efforts and talents.

"We've performed it for the class and for Ms. Barth," said Tobon. "Ms. Barth absolutely loves it — she's thinks it's super fun. I can't wait for everyone to see it!"

"The choreographers are really in charge!" said Barth. "I wanted them to take it very seriously once I incorporated it. They audition, they pick their own music, they have multiple showings where they have to meet certain requirements in terms of the length of their piece. They select their own costumes and lighting — it's a big process!"

Like Tobon, Barth is excited for the entire community to see the performance. She is proud of her entire cast of dancers, which include 17 soon-to-be Reserve graduates.

"I have quite a few seniors who have been with me a long time," she said. "It's always bittersweet at the end, and it can be quite emotional! You watch them grow up as individuals, as well as dancers."

We hope you will save the date for the dance program's final performance of the year!

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