A semester’s worth of work came to a fitting conclusion as several students presented their pieces for the Choreography Showcase.
According to senior performer and choreographer Cassie O’Keefe, this show was made as part of a class called research in choreography where everybody meets twice a week along with holding cast auditions for people not in the class. The students in the class then meet with their dancers outside of class to rehearse their piece.
The pieces include “The Logic of Appropriateness” by Grace Lonergan, “Self-Indulgence” by Chelsea Hance, “The Dinner Party” by Cassie O’Keefe, “Evanescent” by Lindsay Gibbons and “A Change in Hue” by Samantha Witham.
O’Keefe said she enjoyed using dance to play out different scenarios. “There was no voice or speaking in my piece, but I wanted the important topics about women’s rights and women’s issues to come through so I created a piece about nine women from the past and present who were involved in the feminist movement and if they were to all have a dinner party together. It was really fun to play with something that could not realistically happen, but through dance, I was able to make it happen,” said O’Keefe.
Audience member and KSC class of 2019 alumnus Faith Pudlo said she liked being able to hear about each piece in this way. “I appreciated that because it was such a small class they were able to share details about their research and that I was able to experience and view that in their work. I also just thought that there was a lot of hard work and talent in the show,” said Pudlo.
According to junior performer and choreographer Samantha Witham, the pieces are constantly evolving. “I learned that it’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of research that goes into creating a big piece and I learned that it’s a big exploration. It’s an adventure; you have to constantly change as you go, it’s not going to be exactly how you think it is at the beginning. The music is going to change, the movement is going to change, the way the dancers dance is not going to be how you think they’re going to dance, so you adjust accordingly,” said Witham.
O’Keefe also appreciated being able to continuously tweak parts of the routines by working with her classmates. “It was really interesting because I go to class with them and see things that they’re struggling with and I can help and offer feedback, but I was also in the piece, so when I’m in it I can say ‘when I’m doing the piece I feel this,’ or ‘I’m having these emotions’ or ‘I’m not really feeling that,’” said O’Keefe.
Director Cynthia McLaughlin said the class has allowed the students to grow a lot. “It was a very focused, committed group of students this semester so there was tremendous growth. One of the things is the students come in and their ideas are really broad of what they’d like to focus on and they learn that making something really specific gives you more opportunity,” said McLaughlin.
The Choreography Showcase cast had many other dancers not involved in the class including Isabella Nunziata, Katelyn Sova, Meeghan Somerset, Melissa Ray, Brooke Meehan, Alayna Massie, Ashley Dahl, Keegan Plocki, Ashley Kelliher, Chloe Cina, Millie Richard, Melissa Brochu, Maggie Cahoon, Justin Park and Kendall Page. The production crew includes Kiara Byron, Morgan Rosen, Molly Delaney, Craig Lindsay, Shane Horsman, Eric Talbot, Megan Marcot and Genevieve July.
This show took place in the Mabel Brown Room on both December 5 and 6 at 7 p.m.
Cristian Valentin can be contacted