Dance show features classics across genres

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Anna Leon

Performing this weekend, the Dance Company and the intermediate dance class presents a variety of pieces ranging from Hamilton to hip hop, and apparently the audience can expect to see some sword fighting too.

Although Dance Company performs a majority of the pieces in this show, the intermediate dance class has three pieces they have been working on in class this semester.

Ms. Krissy Richmond, head of Dance Company, said the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey made everything more challenging. Harvey’s devastation “made the beginning of the year a little funky, a little unsettling [because] it affected everybody one way or another,” Ms. Richmond said.

On top of losing two weeks of valuable rehearsal hours, the level of their choreography, especially from their guest artists, is much more challenging this year. However, Ms. Richmond said she kept a hopeful approach because she knows “[these dancers] are very dedicated and committed kids, and they come through for sure.” Despite the obstacles and challenging choreography, Ms. Richmond has full confidence in her dance team and her dance class.  “I have no doubt they can do it,” Ms. Richmond said.

Even though tech week has been long and stressful for the dancers working from 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon until 8 p.m. every night this past week, they are ready to see all of their hard work pay off this weekend.

Olivia Holley (11), who has been in Dance Company since freshman year, enjoys the Snow Scene ballet piece which is a selection from the “Nutcracker Ballet.”  “This dance is probably my favorite because I love being able to perform an exciting dance from a famous ballet,” Holley said.

Even though the Fall Dance production tends to be more faculty-driven, Leona Chen (12) incorporates her well-known hip-hop skills in her own piece which she has been recast since it was first performed last spring; she will also be featuring two other new pieces as well. These dances are an exciting addition to the Dance Company’s usual contemporary and ballet pieces and seek to involve the crowd with well known hip-hop tunes.

Senior boys, Ashton Lambert and Jervon Monroe perform in several of the pieces, and William Miner (12) and Alex Nigro (10) make an appearance in a New York City themed sketch from Broadway, an excerpt from Leonard Bernstein’s musical “On the Town.” In it, the performers act as sailors who have time off in New York City for only 24 hours, and they dance their way into various adventures.

Ms. Richmond said that her dance program allows students of all skill levels and different backgrounds to work together.  Some students have performed with or trained at Theater Under the Stars and others with the Houston Ballet.

Despite the variety of backgrounds, the dancers seek to perform as one unit.  With many different levels of expertise it is “primarily, [and] always my goal to accentuate and show the strengths of the students,” Ms. Richmond said.