Every year the senior dance class creates a show that includes a choreographed movement by each of the dancers, but this year a new element is being added to the mix. Senior choreographers are collaborating with composers from the University of Missouri to create a personalized dance with music created specifically for the movements.
When the project began this summer, dancers had to decide who would be the right composer for their piece. The solution? Speed dating.
Each of the seven dancers and composers sat down to get to know each other’s music styles, dancing styles and even personal work ethics to find the perfect match.
“If one of us knew someone else was really set on a certain composer, everyone understood that you give a little and you take a little,” senior Samari Jackson said.
Senior Kramer Pruitt spoke of the challenges that came with working with composers.
“At first it was really challenging to communicate fluently with the composers. We didn’t know their lingo and they didn’t know ours, so listening to each other’s music and watching each other’s choreographing styles helped us figure out who was best for each of us to work with,” she said.
Like every artist, each choreographer had unique inspirations for their pieces that had to then be translated in their composer’s music. Senior Lee Ann Davis’ piece was inspired by her hometown in southern Florida.
“Everything about my hometown was simple and slow-paced. The goal of my piece is to bring me back to the person I was in a more simple and relaxed place,” Davis said.
The students have spent around 10-15 hours in rehearsal with their dancers and countless hours of their own time to perfect their movements. After many months of hard work and dedication, the Senior Dance Concert is set to take place mid-November. The dancers will only practice with their composers once before the dress rehearsal, which takes place in less than a week. The time limit means the dancers must use their knowledge in tempo, sound and dynamics to quickly and efficiently solve any problems. Unlike the computer-generated music the dancers are familiar with, the performance will be live.
The Senior Dance Concert will take place at the Macklanburg Playhouse on Nov.15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. General admission tickets cost $8; student/senior tickets are $6.
Story by freshman Sammy Dorman