Dance Your Way Into Winter

As the lights dimmed, a sudden hush fell over the audience and the song “Secrets” by One Republic flowed into the room.  Cast in blue light, three dancers, dressed in black halter leotards, blue boy shorts and black see-through gauntlets, glided on stage, followed by the rest of the company.

After seven costume changes, hundreds of hours of practice, and thousands of splits, Exeter’s Fall Dance Company held two successful shows in Fisher Theater last Wednesday and Saturday. Although the first show had a shaky start due to a technical difficulty, the dancers followed through and delivered an energized concert.  

Senior Maria Riquezas believed that everyone was ready to perform at their best. “Most of us weren’t nervous because we realized that we have rehearsed the performance so many times before,” Riquezas said. “It was also our last time showcase our talents, choreography, everything.”

The performance included a variety of styles that made the show appealing to a greater audience.  The performances kicked off with a strong start of hip-hop and jazz routine that included a Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga mash-up, and was followed by modern, classical ballet and swing pieces.  What really made the show stand out, though, is the complexity of the student-choreographed dances.

Co-captain senior Celine Collis emphasizes that every member of the dance company dedicated a lot of time and energy to make the performance as great as it could be. “We worked all of fall term to prepare for this show and the first week we returned from break, we spent at least ten hours on dress rehearsals,” she said.  The show could not have been put together without the dedication of the dancers who practiced for at least six hours every week for two months.

DanceCo has held their concert after Thanksgiving break due to scheduling conflicts with the production of Macbeth, which took place right before Thanksgiving break. “It was challenge to have a break in the middle of our preparation for the show,” Collis said.  “We really had to focus the week we came back.”  
DanceCo also had the opportunity to work with professional choreographers. “They introduced new parts of dance to us,” upper Sariel Frankfurter said. “We only meet with them a couple times but their input is incredibly rewarding.” Co-captain senior Devika Bodas enjoyed the diversity of choreography in the show. “It was a little different from what we’ve done before.  It was a lot less technical and more fun,” she said.  “We had fun learning the steps and we bonded together because of it.”

However, all the hard work from the dancers and faculty in DanceCo paid off. Instructor in Modern Languages Priscilla Macmullen enjoyed the whole performance on an overall basis. “I loved the [entire show], especially the variety of choreography and of music,” she said. “And the show was so polished in terms of how [everyone] moved as teams on stage, with such precision and unity and grace.” Audience member upper Nic Gutierrez was shocked by the high level of choreography featured. “I couldn’t believe some of the dances were choreographed by students,” he said.

Director of Dance Linda Luca has good reason to be proud of her company. “This Fall’s Company was an exceptional group of dancers,” she said. Co-captain senior Valerie Zhao appreciated watching her fellow dancers perform as well as performing herself. “My favorite part of the show was probably watching everyone else dance especially a lot of our underclassmen. I was really impressed by some of our new choreographers,” she said. Luca complimented how all the dancers worked together to put on a great show. “They are wonderfully positive individuals who work collaboratively to be the best they can be. The last show was one of the best we’ve ever done!” she said.

For Collis, the highlight of the concert was DanceCo's pre-perfomance tradition. "We stand in a circle and hold hands. Then we all reminisce for a moment and appreciate all the work we've put into the show," she said. "We have a feeling of togetherness and accomplishment that we are finally able to put everything together."



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