By Simran P. Gupta
This past Sunday, Dec. 6, students and family members flocked to the Winsor School auditorium for the Simmons College Dance Company’s (SCDC) biannual showcase, performed at the end of each semester. There was much abuzz throughout the show, from the new venue to the new first-years to the choreography and music selections. Often thought of as a chance to showcase talent and leadership, SCDC did not disappoint this semester.
There was a range of music that students had chosen to choreograph to, from well-known quiet ballads such as Birdy’s cover of “Skinny Love” to fastpaced electro music. Choreography included contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and even a Latin-inspired number.
The opening number, set to a mash-up of hits including Britney Spears’ “Dance Until the World Ends,” set a fun, party-like tone for the show. While every student choreographer and dancer brought an amazing talent and flavor to the show, certain numbers stood out while watching.
“Skinny Love,” choreographed by sophomores Melissa Mirza and Madison Florence, was quietly heartfelt. Lyrical and emotional, it triggered a response that brought some to tears while watching, including this reviewer.
“100 Years,” choreographed by fellow sophomore Samantha Kirwin, had a similar emotional effect. Bittersweet, her choreography took the audience through the life story of an old lady, a ballet-influenced, contemporary piece that exemplified a certain amount of youthfulness.
In contrast, Madison Florence’s number set to “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde, was intense, dark, and beautiful all the same. The choreography had a moody, primal touch to it, which matched Lorde’s low voice perfectly.
A contemporary number choreographed by senior and co-president Amelia Whitten to “Black and Gold” stood out for its impressive formations and fouettes, and the artful sprinkling of sensual choreography to match the low beat of the song. Whitten’s choreography perfectly portrayed the progression of animals described in the song.
Additionally, a show would not be complete without the upbeat, creative, jazzy, and fun choreography of junior Azeb Freitas. Done to a remix and mash-up including the classic “We Are Young,” with choreography that mixes jazz and hip-hop with an ’80s influence.
A similarly upbeat song, choreographed by senior Kendall Bauer to Little Mix’s wildly famous “Salute,” just screams girl power. With camouflage patterned pants as part of the costume, hip-hop choreography, and black streaks painted across the dancers’ cheeks, the choreography and song combination made the performance a tough girl tribute to be reckoned with. It turned out to be one of the most original pieces in the show.
All in all, every choreographer’s number was a success in its own way. Amazing lighting and well-picked costumes added to the talent. A new class of first-years also gives the Dance Company fresh talent and a new touch. There was a definite shift in the style of choreography that was showcased this semester, and watching the company grow will be as exciting as hopefully being a part of that growth.
Stay tuned for the Simmons College Dance Company showcase in the spring.