Dancers address diversity in ‘Love’ showcase

Dancers address diversity in ‘Love’ showcase

Students and faculty danced in response to recent global events at the Upper School Dance Concert March 3-5 in the Rugby Auditorium.

“In difficult times, we need one another.  This is our way of giving back to our community,” director and Performing Arts Teacher Cyndy Winter said. “Our means is dance, and our goal is to provoke thought.”

A dancer pretends to spray paint “hope” across a wall while another is occupied by the report of a terrorist attack. Credit: Jenny Li/Chronicle

The show is inspired by Fred Rogers’ part in the ‘90s television show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and follows the dancers as they face pertinent issues, such as hate and violence, guest performer Maija Wainwright ’19 said.  Like Rogers, who changes into his cardigan and sneakers in his theme song while speaking about love and honesty, dancers also put on red sweaters and sneakers as the scenes evolve during the performance.

“I think Mr. Rogers, especially right now, just teaches us important things about human decency and overall kindness that we should all take with us,” Wainwright said. “It’s is basically inspired by what’s going on in the world now, and our take on what we need as people in response.”

The performance allowed for a unique form of expression about recent events, guest performer and Upper School Dean Celso Cardenas said.

Henry Platt ’17, Eric Gedonia ’17, Upper School Dean Christopher Jones and Caroline Cook ’19 perform in a piece about love. Credit: Sophie Haber/Chronicle

“Dance is an incredible art form that has the ability to express so many emotions, and I felt it was the perfect vehicle to emote what many people are thinking and feeling at the moment,” Cardenas said. “The message of this year’s show is very much in line with my own outlook on society. It is about leaning on one another and keeping hope alive.”

The dancers began working for the show since the beginning of the school year and began weekend rehearsals after winter break. Students had the opportunity last week to purchase roses and write a note for the dances for their work.  The performance was successful and helped reflect not only their hard work, but a united response towards pressing issues, company member Chloe Zoller ’17 said.

A dancer spray paints a wall during a number about societal issues of hate. Credit: Jenny Li/Chronicle.

“It was so special to be a part of a concert that conveyed such an important message,” Zoller said. “I hope everyone was impacted by both our dancing and the meaning behind it as well.”

The performance helped audience members connect and unite under the ideas of love and peace, Carly Burdorf ’19 said.

“It was an inspiring and eye-opening show with a powerful message,” Burdorf said. “It made me sad that so many atrocities go on everyday, but it is incredible that some still have hope.  I really enjoyed the dancing and the story.”

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