“Spring” Dances

 “Spring” Dances

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So… Today is supposed to be the opening day of our Spring Dances concert for the Dance Division. The only trouble is that I’m looking outside and wondering how are we going to perform our Spring Dances when there’s a blizzard happening outside!? Honestly.. Spring… I expected more from you. That being said, the city does look incredibly beautiful with the snow laying gently across it, and it’s certainly a great moment for a photo shoot! That being said, I’ll be comfortable taking photos out my window from my warm and cozy room.

 

Time not spent in my warm and cozy room will be spent onstage, performing Twyla Tharp’s brilliant piece “Deuce Coupe.” First performed in 1973, this piece does a brilliant job of mixing together elements of jazz, ballet, and hip-hop to create a mesmerizing collage of movement. More than that, the ballet paints a heartwarming and soulful picture of a generation growing up in the 1970’s. The score consists entirely of songs by the Beach Boys, with the piece (fittingly) opening to their hit song Deuce Coupe. The boys wear floral v-neck shirts with bright red bell-bottomed jazz pants, while the girls sport zesty orange dresses, cut to about knee length.

 

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As a sophomore, this was my first time performing in Spring Repertoire, and I have to say quite earnestly that it was an all around fantastic experience. The stager for the piece, Richard Colton, did an incredible job of uplifting the group and taking our energy and love for the piece to new heights. It was also exciting to finally get to properly work with dancers from outside of my year, as the pieces presented in Spring Repertoire are casted across the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th year dancers. Getting to deepen my connections with the other members of my division in such a joyful and spirited way was truly an unforgettable experience.

 

The other two pieces on the program, Merce Cunningham’s Sounddance & Crystal Pite’s Grace Engine were both excellent displays of virtuosity, passion, and precision. Getting the chance to watch members of my class perform such diverse repertoire was deeply satisfying, as it reminds me that everyone comes from such a unique background and carries with them a special set of abilities that allow them to come forward and shine in the most unexpected of ways.

 

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At the end of the day, I reflect on how a piece of repertoire is simply that, a piece of repertoire. It is nothing without the incredible artists who bring it to life. Looking back on the past 6 weeks of rehearsals, I couldn’t be more grateful that I am surrounded by this incredible cast of characters who, together, did their very best to bring to life a fantastic ballet about life, love, and growing up. The effort, love, dedication, and passion of my fellow cast members with forever remain in my memory as a shining example of how when we all come together from a place of empathy and humanity, we have the chance to create something rare and beautiful. Thank you to all my wonderful friends for this magnificent experience, and I can’t wait for next year's Spring Repertoire!

 

~Alexander Sargent~

Juilliard Dance 2020

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