Dancing teens: High school dance students ‘Uplift and Inspire’ in the annual Student Choreography Showcase
Nevada Union High School’s Theatrical Dance program presents the 17th annual Student Choreography Showcase at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, in the Don Baggett Theatre, located at 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley.
This year’s Showcase includes the theme “Uplift and Inspire.” Eleven choreographers created original pieces in a variety of dance styles, performed by the intermediate and advanced dancers in the department.
These student choreographers submitted detailed proposals at the start of the school year, describing how their dance would reflect the show’s theme. They began rehearsals at the start of the school year, dedicating several weekends to teach and stage their works on a cast of their peers.
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 theme of “Uplift and Inspire.”
Senior advanced dancer Gracie Suenram has been in the Nevada Union dance program for all four years of high school and has choreographed for two previous Showcase productions.
After graduation, she will be pursuing aerospace engineering and continuing to dance. For this year’s Showcase, Suenram chose what inspires her most: the universe.
In describing her piece, Suenram said, “My piece is about space: its emptiness, chaos, and intense beauty. My favorite constellation is Orion, The Hunter, and you will see the dancers form his shape. For my music, I combined three songs that I think represent my theme, along with sounds recorded as Voyager 2 passed Jupiter. Though it sounds like white noise, it is actually supersonic solar winds interacting with the craft.”
Sophomore Caitlin McCormick chose to choreograph a piece about empowering girls to feel confident in themselves and to support one another. She explains, “With the growing influence of social media and advertising, it can be difficult for anyone, especially young women, to feel confident.”
She chose the song “Pretty Hurts,” about a pageant queen who realizes that there are more important things in life than being pretty. McCormick’s choreography highlights each dancer in a solo, showing her individual power and inner beauty, but as her dance progresses, the dancers work together as a united group, demonstrating they are even stronger together.
Junior Lindsey Woods said that choreographing for this Showcase production has been “one of the greatest opportunities to learn about teaching and creating art for a public audience.”
She chose a large cast of 14 dancers to bring to life upbeat and fast-paced choreography inspired by the classic “Pink Panther.” She used hip hop choreography to represent the cool and edgy panther, and graceful ballet to symbolize the good and agile detectives: 13 highly trained operatives against one slinky cat.
“I wanted this dance to be fun, exciting, and keep you on your toes,” said Woods.
Senior Delaney Moseman’s piece, titled “Love,” has been selected for adjudication at the Ohlone College Theatre Festival in Fremont this March. She blended recordings of wedding vows and instrumental music for a series of three duets.
“My goal with this piece is to promote love and acceptance of love, as it is the most powerful weapon of all,” Moseman said.
In the fall, she plans to attend the University of Oregon, where she will major in dance as well as family and human services. She will also be participating in a Pre-Law program.
Tickets for the 17th annual Student Choreography Showcase are $10, $12, and $15, depending on seating location. All seating is reserved.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.nevadauniondance.com. Tickets can also be purchased in the Don Baggett Theater lobby on Jan. 30-31 from 4:30-5:30 p.m., and on show nights at the box office. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m.
Online ticket sales close the morning of the performance to prepare the box office. In-person sales are cash or check only.
For additional information, contact the Nevada Union Dance Department at 530-273-4431 ext. 2103.
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