During the long cold spell of winter, things have been heating up inside the Henle Dance Pavilion, where dozens of students have been practicing for “The City,” this year’s Winter Dance Concert.
“Our cast of 28 will take you on a journey into one of the greatest metropolises of the world, New York City,” said Dance Program Director Miryam Moutillet, who conceptualized the show. “We present a city of momentum, diversity and animation, a city where all is possible and surprises await at every street corner.”
Through dance and song, the performers have created pulsating urban rhythms, from city streets to Broadway nightlife. They also highlight New York’s legendary choreographers (George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Bob Fosse), composers (Ira Gershwin, Philip Glass, Steve Reich) and singers (Liza Minnelli, Frank Sinatra, Jay-Z).
“It will be an exciting mix of dance styles and music honoring the city’s melting pot of artists,” Moutillet said.
On the bill are faculty choreographies by Moutillet, instructors Marcus Rogers and Laurie Cawley, and artistic collaborator Charles Batson, professor of French.
Student-created pieces are by Mallory Bichunsky’14, Keilah Creedon’14, Jasmine Roth’14 and Yuqiao Yuan’14 as well as break dancers Alvin Andino’15 and David Thai ’17.
“This is a great experience for me. I’m only a first-year but am doing big things already,” said Thai, who has been break dancing since middle school and joined U-Break Club his third week on campus.
Creedon, a seasoned performer, created a piece for five dancers that focuses on misperceptions and stereotypes of diversity.
“Miryam has shown me that dance can be so much more than fitting steps to music. I wanted to experiment with using dance to make a social statement, because I think the arts, and dance in particular, can be powerful in challenging social norms and initiating change,” Creedon said.
“It’s certainly more difficult to create choreography than to learn it. It puts me in a vulnerable state and requires me to trust myself. This can be a challenge, but it’s well worth it.”
To round out life in “The City,” singer Connor Barrett ’14 and guitarist Gerardo Reyes ’16 will portray New York’s street musicians. Guest composer Andy Iorio will play piano and direct the live music.
In addition, the striking New York skyline is visible on a set designed by Professor of Theater Charles Steckler with theatrical lighting by Robert Bovard. The attractive contemporary attire is by Costume Designer Brittney Belz.
The show will be at the Yulman Theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 5-8, with a matinée at 2 on March 8.
Tickets are on sale at the Yulman Box Office for $7 with a Union ID and $10 for the general public. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. For more information or reservations, call (518) 388-6545.