The 2018 Spring Dance Concert will feature a diverse program with pieces ranging from upbeat Latin jazz to soulful hip hop to maniacal musical theatre.
The program includes pieces from three guest choreographers as well as one senior student choreographer. Upper School dance teacher and choreographer Laci McDonald says, “To bring in another aspect of professional choreography that the dancers could interact with… I think is always a good thing, to get different perspectives of teaching.”
Guest choreographer Killian Manning, who runs the company No Forwarding Address and teaches at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill, returned to DA for her ninth year to work with the Intermediate I level dance class on a piece from her evening-length work “Uncle Sam Wants You!” Her company’s full performance was composed of three sections—the angry, conflict-laden red, the hopeful, zealous white, and the pensive, wistful blue. The piece for the Spring Concert is from the “white” section, composed to Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.”
The dance program also welcomed DA alumnus Isaac Uhlenburg ’08 back to campus. “Each time I visit North Carolina, I do my best to make a swing by Durham Academy. Character building, love and understanding for others, perseverance, pursuing passions—these are a few of the lessons that were fostered during my time at DA, and remain the most applicable to life each day still.” Through his work with the Beginning level dance class, Uhlenburg shares with us the spirit of ’90s R&B.
The program includes a number of thoughtful, poignant pieces that address themes like friendship, mental health, self-image, and the state of our nation, like Manning’s piece. Mrs. McDonald says, “I think this show specifically is kind of tackling, from a dance perspective, expressing some of the things we may be seeing in our society right now.”
This year’s dance program includes eight graduating seniors. Chéyse Lattie, who has been a part of the DA dance program throughout all her four years at the Upper School, will be sad to perform at the Spring Concert for the last time. She says, “I feel like I should try make every moment on stage last as long as possible.”
As junior Sarah Farrin puts it, “It’s amazing to see your classmates be really good at something and put themselves out there. It’s a mark of perseverance and courage, and it fills my heart.”
The Spring Dance Concert will take place on April 26th at 10:05 A.M., 11:15 A.M., and 7:30 P.M. in Kenan Auditorium.