Student Choreographers’ Showcase Lights Up The Stage

Nov 11, 2014 students, faculty, and family gather together in the Wilson Center for the Arts for the annual Student Choreographers’ Showcase. The Showcase offers students an opportunity to display their talents for choreography as well as their dancing techniques. The styles represented ranged from hip-hop to contemporary ballet.

Working in collaboration with the choreographers, the FSCJ Technical Theatre students produced flawless lighting displays, matching the themes of each performance. The show was high energy and fast paced. Pieces engaged the audience while delivering messages on a variety of social issues from gun violence to feminism. The arc of emotions was concluded with an exciting and crowd pleasing hip-hop piece by the show’s special guest artist, Natayla Hall.

The highlight from the first act was “Breaking Preception,” an elegant, understated contemporary ballet choreographed by FSCJ danceWORKS member Sarah Morris and danced by Deonna Clinton, Rachel Harris, Christine Tomkwich, and Jacey Todd. The message she was trying to expound was intentionally vaguer than other pieces. “I wanted the audience to interpret how they felt about it more than my story being told,” said Morris. “That’s one of the hardest things as an artist is that the audience is going to look at your piece, and find what it means to them rather than you telling a story.”

Morris came to the FSCJ Repertory Company danceWORKS following a yearlong stint at the Orlando Ballet School Academy. “OBSA is ballet program where we danced 9-5 each day as students. When I was there I missed the modern and contemporary [styles].” Morris was able to display her varied skills in the 4 pieces she danced in during the showcase. When asked which her favorite piece to dance in was, Morris replied “This is a tough question. If I had to narrow it down I would say that my favorite to perform was “Les Abeilles.”’

The show closed with ‘Emancia,’ a hip-hop piece choreographed by guest artist Natalya Hall. Hall is a former student of FSCJ professor Talani Torres. Hall worked the dancers to their limits. “The guest artist was very tough on us. I have met few mentors in my life who were as challenging as her. In the end it all makes you stronger though and she converted me from feeling insecure about hip-hop to absolutely loving it,” said Morris. ‘Emancia’ was performed by the entire danceWORKS company and garnered the greatest audience appreciation.

If you are interested in becoming involved with FSCJ’s Dance department, auditions will be held Dec. 10 from 6-9:00 p.m. in Building R, Room 206 (gym, 2nd floor).  The audition will include a Ballet bar, contemporary movement phrase, and a hip-hop combination. You are asked to arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. Please come in Ballet appropriate attire, as well as soft Ballet and jazz shoes. You may have a change of clothes for the hip-hop portion. Company and talent grants are available.

Ballerina poses in perfect arabesque. (Photo By Samantha Strickland)
Dancers poised for modern piece (Photo By Samantha Strickland)

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