Nevada Union High’s prestigious dance program presents “Poetry in Motion” February 5-7

Nevada Union High School’s Theatrical Dance Program presents the 14th annual Student Choreography Showcase on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m., Friday, February 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, February 7 at 2 p.m. at the Don Baggett Theatre, located at 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley.

Thirteen years ago, N.U. Dance Teacher Courtney Wadman was a senior and President of the Theatrical Dance Club at Nevada Union, which at that time was under the direction of Yelena Holt. For Ms. Wadman’s senior project, she and a few of her fellow advanced dancers created the first production of student choreography. With the guidance of their teacher, Ms. Holt, the success of this production made Showcase an annual event for the N.U. Dance program.

This year’s Showcase includes the theme “Poetry in Motion,” an innovative lecture/demonstration of student works inspired by poetic verses. Fifteen advanced dancers have created original pieces in a variety of dance styles, performed by the intermediate and advanced dancers in the department.

These student choreographers submitted proposals at the start of the school year, taught and staged their pieces during after-school and weekend rehearsals, and created lighting and costume designs. Before presenting each piece, the choreographers describe their inspiration and choreographic processes, the challenges they overcame, and their artistic vision for how the movement, costuming, and lighting designs they have created reflect the theme of “Poetry in Motion.”

The show opens with a creative contemporary dance, choreographed by senior Theatrical Dance Club President, Jentry Huntington. This dance is inspired by the poem “Survival of the Fittest” by Edwina Reizer, about the battle between strength and human weaknesses in a world much like a “lion’s den.”

As the show progresses, the pieces include a broad spectrum of movement styles and themes. Senior Emily Gollub choreographed a beautiful piece titled “Where the Light Comes In,” based upon the story of Helen Keller. Her movement skillfully incorporates American Sign Language and narrative choreography to make her piece come to life.

In Act II, junior Sasha Tannenbaum worked with a group of intermediate dancers to create a piece inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.” This stunning modern dance piece is set to an audio recording of Angelou reading this poem. Senior and co-President of the Dance Club, Nora Devlin, concludes the show with musical theatre, combining Shakespearean verses from Romeo and Juliet with the music and leading characters from West Side Story. This piece, along with Jentry Huntington’s opening piece, has been selected for adjudication in a Bay area theater and dance festival this March.

Student Choreography Showcase illustrates the NU Theatrical Dance program’s emphasis on strong, classical technique and innovation in choreography, and it highlights the outstanding creative talent and excellence in the performing arts at Nevada Union.

Tickets are $10, $12, and $15, depending on seating location. All seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at Tickets can also be purchased in the Don Baggett Theater lobby on January 31 and February 1 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and on February 2, 3 and 4 from 4-6 p.m., and on show nights at the door. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m. For additional information, contact the Nevada Union Dance Department at (530) 273-4431 ext. 2103.

—Nevada Union High School’s Theatrical Dance Program

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