SCDC captures fun and serious emotion in “Breathe Again”

By Farah Bassyouni Jan 27, 2023

On January 21 at 7:30 PM, I sat in the Jerome Mirza Theater awaiting the commencement of the School of Theater Arts’ 2023 Student Choreographed Dance Concert (SCDC) entitled “Breathe Again. Twenty-six dancers, six choreographers, three lighting designers and three backstage technical personnel were involved with the production. 

When the lights finally dimmed, junior SCDC representative Taylor Glass skipped onstage, with a joyous roar from the audience, to introduce the dance concert. The 50-minute presentation featured eight different dances, all with distinctive messages, styles and technical designs. 

Some standout performances were “Voulez-Vous,” “Fall Into Me,” “Flower Petals” and “Shawty Bad.” Junior Henry Cartaya’s “Voulez-Vous” was a fun filled romp into the world of ABBA’s “Mamma, Mia!” The Latin/jazz/disco partner dance piece, with Junior Samuel Fahrenkrug’s multicolored lighting design, left the audience energized and engaged, excited for what pieces were to come. 

Sophomore MaryBeth Thommes’ “Fall Into Me” was the equivalent of watching a beautiful sunrise at the start of a clear, blue skied day. Featured dancers, sophomores Stephen Nickisch and Tessa Kruczek truly spoke through their dance, bathed in senior Megan Christoferson’s lighting design. First-year Semaj Young’s “Flower Petals” (inspired by the music of Max Richter, a German-English composer) felt akin to the film, “Fantasia.”

The visual presentation felt directly inspired by the unencumbered mental images of the artists listening to classical music, the perfect antithesis to some of the more high-energy offerings in the show.

 Finally, senior Shannon Berg’s “Shawty Bad” was the perfect way to end the concert. A high intensity hip-hop number that pulled music and dance references from the Latin sound and LGBTQ+ artists, “Shawty Bad” truly encompassed the continuing evolution of the music genre and dance form. 

And truly, nothing could compare to the confidence of the three dancers: first-year Allyse McFall, sophomore Isabella Rodriguez and Berg. 

Overall, the concert was a wonderful success, with pieces walking the line between carefree fun and thought-provoking emotion. There are more exciting offerings coming up from the School of Theatre Arts:

  • Promises, Promises: presented by Music Theatre Society January 28-29 in the Jerome Mirza Theater
  • The Iliad, The Odyssey and all of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less: February 11-12 in The Phoenix Theater
  • Much Ado About Nothing: February 22-26 in the Jerome Mirza Theater

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