Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Dance theater performance brings original modern dance to stage

Students in Whitman’s Dance Theater class will perform original choreographed pieces combined with various forms of modern dance on Friday, Dec. 10 in Cordiner Hall. The majority of this year’s  dances are student directed, as class members are not only serving as dancers but choreographers of the pieces as well.

“This year is different in that Vicki Lloid [adjunct instructor of dance] turned the show over to student choreographers; usually there are one or two pieces done by students but this year it’s reversed,” said dancer and student choreographer senior Kate Robinette.

Modern dance is known for the wide range of styles and techniques it encompasses; the freedom allows dancers to choreograph in ways that reflect certain themes and ideas.

“There are a lot of different things that modern dance can be, it’s not classical ballet  . . .  it can really be anything,” said dancer and choreographer junior Rhya Milici.

Milici is one of two students who choreographed original pieces for the performance.   Her dance focuses on sleep and the movements associated with it, such as sleep walking.

“I am choreographing   about a 25-minute piece that is a dance study of sleep.   The piece is titled ‘Dreaming Alone,’ and it started out as me doing a lot of research about sleep,” said Milici.

Modern dance also allows for flexibility in terms of song selection, although many people choose to have more abstract songs without lyrics. According to Milici, her piece has a certain emotional quality as a result of her song choice, which features popular songs with recognizable lyrics.

“I chose to use more recognizable tunes, and from the lyrics there is an emotional quality attached onto the movement,” said Millici.  “So it’s not only a dance study of sleep–it  also has an unrequited love motif throughout.”

Student choreographers and dancers have put in many hours to prepare for this performance, and the creative license implicit in designing and planning original pieces is accompanied by a heavy workload.

“I worked throughout the summer and this semester choosing music, coming up with a theme and then working through movement that conveyed and explored that theme on my own and with my dancers,” said Robinette. “Then we had bi-weekly rehearsals to learn the piece. I had the opportunity to make decisions about costumes and lighting as well.”

Robinette’s first piece focuses on the baggage that accompanies life, and features ropes as symbols   for the emotional weight. Her second piece is centered on the ever-present search for stability.

“[One] piece is entitled ‘The Pull of the Past’ and it deals a lot with the baggage we carry around in our lives,” said Milici.

This event is free for all Whitman students and will take place at 8 p.m.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *