Nevada Union High School’s Theatrical Dance Program will present its 13th annual Student Choreography Showcase this weekend. The innovative lecture/demonstration of student works will feature original choreography by 14 advanced dancers in the department. Performances will be at 7 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday in the Don Baggett Theater, 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley.
Twelve years ago, NU dance teacher Courtney Wadman was a senior and president of the Theatrical Dance Club at the school. At that time, the club and dance was under the direction of Yelena Holt. For Wadman’s senior project, she and a few of her fellow advanced dancers wanted to create a student choreography production. With the guidance of their teacher, the success of this production made Showcase an annual event for the NU Dance program.
This year’s Showcase will open with a dynamic contemporary jazz piece, choreographed by senior Theatrical Dance Club President, Toria Painter. The theme of this dance portrays an evolution of human movements, from caveman-like gestures to futuristic robots. The dancers, dressed in tribal costumes with hints of metallic makeup and symbols, appear to be a blend of past, present, and future humans. As the show progresses, the pieces include a broad spectrum of movement styles and themes. From junior Nora Devlin’s playful rendition of Dr. Suess’ The Cat in the Hat to sophomore Chela Reyna’s acrobatic circus-themed modern dance piece, this show will take the audience on a memorable journey, according to Wadman.
Wadman also notes that senior and co-president of the Dance Club, Monique McDowell, created a moving historical piece about overcoming prejudice and advocating for civil rights. This piece, along with Painter’s opening piece, has been selected for adjudication in a Bay area theater and dance festival this March.
The intermediate and advanced dancers performing in these student works have been preparing since last August, dedicating numerous hours to after-school and weekend rehearsals. Before presenting each piece, the choreographers describe their inspiration and choreographic processes, the challenges they overcame, and their artistic vision for how the movement, costuming, and lighting designs they have created reflect the future directions of dance art.
Student Choreography Showcase illustrates the NU Theatrical Dance program’s emphasis on strong, classical technique and innovation in choreography, and it highlights the outstanding creative talent and excellence in the performing arts at Nevada Union.
Tickets are $10, $12, and $15, depending on seating location. All seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at www.nevadauniondance.com. Tickets can also be purchased in the Don Baggett Theater lobby at 5:30 p.m. on show nights. For additional information, contact the Nevada Union Dance Department at 530-273-4431 ext. 2103.