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Winter DANCE/works Impresses

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DANCE/works featured fifteen pieces.

DANCE/works featured fifteen pieces.

Vera Targoff

Vera Targoff

DANCE/works featured fifteen pieces.

Yiyi Chen, Contributing Writer

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Every semester, audience members are amazed by the amount of talent the CRLS dance community has. On December 15th and 16th, DANCE/works was another remarkable show that was one to remember.

Once again, all of the hard work put in by director and dance teacher Ms. Divelbliss—as well as the whole Modern Dance Company community—was clearly shown as students leapt and spun beautifully across the stage.

This winter’s show incorporated many different styles of dance, including modern, hip-hop, and African. As usual, the show was a combination of dances from MDC and the Dance Technique & Choreography class offered at CRLS.

The show featured fifteen pieces, nine of which were choreographed by students. The other six pieces were choreographed by Ms. Divelbliss and fellow dance teacher Ms. Thigpen, as well as guest artists Ruka Hatua-Saar White, Sidi Joh Camara, and MDC alumnae Hannah Firestone and Queen-Cheyenne Wade.

Co-captain of MDC Marney O’Connor was a student choreographer for this show. She used this opportunity to create a piece that raised awareness about the challenges women face every day. The audio of the piece incorporated the voices of the dancers, speaking about the many barriers they face as women.

“To use the energy that comes from all the members of company in a piece like I did this semester, and to literally use their voices to create work that ended up getting such an emotional response, was so rewarding,” O’Connor said.  

When speaking about using dance as a form of expression, she added, “There’s something to be said for dance being that thing that some people are drawn to, because it’s the next thing after words fail you to be the right form of expression. In a world that’s difficult to navigate at this age and at this time, it’s so special to have an inclusive place to put what’s all in our heads into a piece of art.”

One piece in the show that raised many reactions from the audience was titled “On the First Day…,” sung by Natalia Ruiz ’18 and Phia Teller ‘21. This piece was inspired by the Christmas carol, “12 Days of Christmas.” The lyrics and choreography were both created by Ms. Thigpen and her advanced dance class.

The most memorable moment of the piece was when the whole audience erupted into laughter as a video of the eight deans of CRLS dancing in the dance room surprised them. Audience member Nacie Loh described this moment as being “really funny and unexpected.” She added, “I think everyone in the audience enjoyed it.”

When asked about the show, Ms. Divelbliss said, “Fall semester was super productive. I was proud of the sophistication and artistry of the student-choreographed works and excited to see the overall level of dance and performance skill that was demonstrated in the show.”

The MDC community is always open to new members. If you’re interested, go to room 0621—located in the basement of the Arts Building—or contact Ms. Divelbliss. And don’t forget to support the community by attending the spring DANCE/works show on May 11th and 12th!

This piece also appears in our January print edition. Find more DANCE/works photos here.

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Winter DANCE/works Impresses