A Look Back: Smith College Dance 2014-2015

Gina Mantica ’16
Assistant Arts Editor

The Smith College dance department cultivated impeccable artistry throughout the 2014-2015 season. With a number of spectacular shows, this past season was one of the best yet. The MFA Dance Concert, put on by “the wolf pack,” was a diverse celebration of a powerful group of female artists that highlighted the unique nature of each individual choreographer. The Senior Thesis Dance Concert, “Where We Agree,” put on by members of the class of 2015, was an eclectic collection of theatrical contemporary pieces that captured the impact that Smith had on the choreographers’ growth as artists during their undergraduate years.
The dance department also hosted the Five College Dance Department Faculty Concert, which was a collection of six distinct pieces. One of the pieces in the concert, “Full and Empty,” was originally choreographed by Omar Carrum of Delfos Danza Contemporánea and recreated with the help of Claudia Lavista, one of Delfos’ founders, and rehearsed by Smith professor Angie Hauser. The opportunity to have breathtaking choreography from a renowned figure like Omar Carrum speaks to the excellence that the dance department consistently pushes towards.
This incredible season concludes the week of commencement with Roger Blum’s “More Clearly in Dreams” and Celebrations Dance Company’s “The Golden Hour.” “More Clearly in Dreams” is based on the imagination of Leonardo da Vinci and includes a brilliant cast of professional actors and ballet dancers. Recent Smith alumna Erica Marcoux ’13 has worked with Blum to help restage the piece that she performed in as a student here. “More Clearly in Dreams” is an excellent way to end the Smith College dance department’s 2014-2015 season, as it beautifully reflects on the brilliance of the choreographers, professors and dancers that have helped to shape not just this season, but also the path that the dance department has taken over the past few years.
“The Golden Hour” is a collection of Celebrations Dance Company’s member-choreographed pieces, which include works from Jessica Goudrealt ’15, Twyla Vesper Marr ’15, Charnice Charmant ’16, Taina Bey ’16, Jane Anderson ’15, Hannah Klales ’15, Chloe Wynne ’15, Thea Dennis ’15, Anna Redner ’17, and Allison Marsh ’17. “The Golden Hour” skillfully captures the essence of many of the graduating members of the Smith dance department while also highlighting the remarkable diversity in dance that Celebrations Dance Company has always hoped to display since its founding in 1983.
Next year already appears to be shaping up to be another strong year for the Smith dance department. Many students from the Smith dance department will return to campus early to rehearse with choreographers from Pilobolus Dance Company, who will set the piece “Megawatt” along with other dancers from the Five College dance department.
The soon-to-be second year graduate students in the MFA program within the Smith College dance department have recently shown their finesse in artistry and choreography at their showcase in early May. Next year, great things are expected from these students, including Barbie Diewald, who is also a performer in Blum’s “More Clearly in Dreams.” Dance majors in the Smith class of 2016, including Taina Bey, Ali Naranjo, Jessica Beliles, Ella Ansell, Sarah Achartz, and Charnice Charmant, are already excited to return in the fall to begin work on their theses, and I know I can speak for many people when I say that we, too, are excited to see these dancers put the knowledge they have gained to use through performance.

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