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Innovation at Sandy Spring

The Fall 2016 Dance Concert

Brittany Wright, Staff Writer

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The creativity and energy of the 2016 Winter Dance Concert is one to remember. Every winter, students and family members gather in the Arts Center to see innovative and inspiring pieces from students at SSFS. This year, in particular, students in the dance class showed their true creative abilities. As a member of the dance department, I got to go behind the scenes and speak to some of the choreographers on their process, rehearsals, what they hoped their piece would bring to the audience, and how much time was spent from the making of the piece to putting it on stage.

Lauren Alozie spoke about her piece, “A Seat at my Table.” She set her piece to two pieces by Solange,  “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky.” Immediately she spoke about Solange’s new album and music videos and how that inspired her to choreograph. She enjoyed how Solange’s music and videos inspired and empowered black women. Although extremely inspired, she was challenged by the hectic rehearsals, reflecting, “It’s hard to get everyone together at one time, since everyone is so busy. But we always find a way.” It also helped that she had dancers who picked up the choreography quickly. The main struggle she faced was making sure the actual choreography was manageable for the dancers. Lauren’s main goal was to send a message that black women are beautiful. She said, “I’ve always been self conscious because being black in society has not always been seen as being beautiful thing. I figured this would be a great solo and group piece because I finally feel as though I am a beautiful young black woman. That all black women are beautiful. I want everyone to see that”.

Anya Schumacher, spoke on her piece, “Hula,” set to “Ka Nahona Pili Kai.” She said rehearsals were great for her since she was working with a good friend Olivia Murry. She was also excited about getting the choreography of the Hula from a traditional hawaiian festival called the Merry Monarch Festival. She incorporated a use of arms that, while flowy and beautiful, is quite tricky to master. Her main hope was that the audience appreciated the difference in the dance and, in the process, learned about a different, less familiar culture.

Mary Price, a choreographer and dancer, talked about the piece she put in the concert, “Moments of Impact,” set to “Primavera”. Mary said that, despite a few creative blocks, the choreography came easily when she was inspired. She also added that the rehearsal process was exciting for her because the dancers were able to pick up and retain the choreography as well as keep energized. Rehearsals took up a lot of time and the challenging when learning a piece in the hour block set for each rehearsal. Mary enjoyed pushing younger dancers to challenging themselves to new movements and watching them grow as dancers. Her hope was the the audience would receive the strong emotion in the piece and discover something about themselves. “I hope, more than anything that they take away the belief anything is possible”.  

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1 Comment

One Response to “Innovation at Sandy Spring”

  1. Edward Adigun on April 5th, 2017 9:37 pm

    I’m impressed with the process involved in putting this dance concert together. One thing that caught my attention is the fact that every single performer had an inspiration behind the performance. The choice of music, the style, etc. The message behind the music inspired them to use it. For example Lauren Alozie picked the music by solange because of how it portrays black females in a positive and empowering way. I’m impressed and love it. Also, the stressful events that occurred In between to get to this point of glory and success is something important to know to acknowledge that hardwork is essential to attain anything.

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