Dancers connected with professional choreographers to bring their original pieces to the stage during the Student Choreography Showcase, Dec. 6.
Directed by Dance Teacher Dorrell Martin, the Student Choreography Showcase this year featured several changes, including structured checkpoints, a choreography workshop and an adjudication with professional choreographers.
“Mr. Martin gave us some good ideas,” junior Eleni McGee said. “It was nice to learn from him as he taught us a lot of different ways to change around and decorate the steps of our choreography.”
In the past, checkpoints had been low-key opportunities for dancers to show teachers their style. This year, the checkpoints were scheduled appointments during which Martin watched the dances and provided suggestions.
“Choreographing is like writing a paper — you think it’s good when you read it, but then someone else looks at it and finds things you didn’t catch,” junior Aanie Shah said.
In addition to meeting with Martin at checkpoints, choreographers had the option of attending a two-hour choreography workshop designed to give the choreographers new tools to work with, such as motifs, recurring subjects or theme improvisation.
“I really enjoyed attending the choreography workshop,” senior Anna Huang said. “It gave me fresh ideas for my piece and definitely helped to steer me in the right direction. I also enjoyed working with other dancers and choreographing combinations together.”
Martin held an adjudication with two local choreographers, Kelly Ann Vitacca, director of Vitacca Productions and Company, and Jane Weiner, director of Hope Stone.
“The purpose of the adjudication is to give the choreographers feedback from a professional aspect of dance theater and to help them grow as young artists, to give them the ability to think outside the box,” Martin said.
The choreographers provided advice and suggestions for the students.
“It was nerve-racking,” Santiago said. “I knew Kelly Ann expected a lot from me since she was my dance teacher for many years, gave me my first solo and made me love dance. The adjudicators were both extremely helpful and knowledgeable.”
Photos by Jake Nyquist