On Friday June 27th at 6pm, “Modern American Repertoire” was performed by first and second year diploma students in the Dance Studio. The over flowing audience was captivated by the young talent. The performance included singing, dancing, and acting. It all started with an ensemble of meaningful Blues including “CJam Blues,” “Centre Piece,” and “I’m Talking ‘bout Love.” On the right you can see Paulina Knapik, a second year student, who put her heart and soul into “Jersey Bounce.” Following was a radiant solo song by Simone Cornelius, also a second year, called “Black Coffee.”
After the beautiful opening of singing, African American influenced dance was performed. All of the dancers participated in the first song, “Invocation,” and the last, “See-line Woman.” You can see in the photo bellow all of the dancers seemed to feed off of each other and the audience was fascinated. The first years performed the second song, “I Put a Spell on You,” and then the second years performed “God Bless the Child.” By the end of these acts you could tell that the dancers had put their all out on the floor.
Furthermore, blues singing followed the dancing. This all started with Kandaka Moore, a first year, who sung “I know you know.” You could really tell that this song meant a lot to her. Then Abigail Blythe, a second year, sang “Someone to Watch Over Me” which was a moving song. Next “Grandma’s Hands” was performed by Tyree Bell, a first year, whose voice was booming and touching.
Following these solo performances was another fun dance routine performed by both first and second years. This was a fun, upbeat dance, with very playful outfits. The skirts, one seen in the photo on the right, that were worn by a few girls made “The Hoppers” an even more charismatic act.
The final performance was a version of “August Osage County” by Tracy Letts. Each performer swapped roles throughout the scenes of this piece. Even though the performers changed roles, articles of clothing were worn by each character so that it was a seamless transition for the audience to pick up on. There continued to be a lot of passion between the actors that the audience could really feel. The opening scene was a great introduction to the rest of the scenes with Jean, Bill and Barbara’s daughter, played by Reeva Christie. You could tell that she had really gotten into the characters mind. The second scene was that night of scene one and Bill, played by Sebastian Humphries, and Barbara, now played by Georgia Forde, had a moving moment. This moment was just before they were going to bed, and their daughter Jean was listening in. This moment had many emotions, just like the rest of the scenes. Another scene that had the audience waiting for the next line was the dinner scene. All of the characters had such enthusiasm with their character that it made the scene very lively. Even though there was only had a handful of scenes, the audience could feel the raw emotion that was put into the acting.
Overall the entire performance, “Modern American Repertoire,” was terrific. These young students have tremendous talent that is being shaped by knowledgeable teachers. Each student brought something different to each performance, which had the audience sitting on the edge of their seats. If you can get out to see any of the future diploma student’s performances I would really recommend it!
Catherine Dudek – EUSA Intern