Dance Showcase: behind the scenes

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UHS Dance Company members Katie Fukada (Sr.), Rishan Ephrem (Fr.), Emi Takahata (Sr.) and Shivani Lamba (Jr.) (left to right) before rehearsing their pieces. (Bethany Huang)

By ERIN KIM
Staff Writer

“It’s about teenage anxiety, mostly. The piece shows a dancer trying to slow and escape this world,” Dance Company member Naomi Efron (Jr.) said about her Showcase piece. Inspired by her own teenage angst, Efron has decided to choreograph a dance portraying this aspect of the human experience for the annual UHS Dance Showcase.

Showcase offers students who are not involved in the Dance Department a chance to perform in front of the student body. As one of the most popular UHS dance shows, Showcase involves a two- to three-month preparation process. Those who wish to be selected by choreographers audition in early March; if selected, they spend the next month learning and rehearsing their choreographers’ pieces. At the end of the month, there is another audition, which ultimately determines which dances will be in Showcase. During the period between the second audition to the actual show, dancers continue to clean and rehearse their routines for the stage.

Camille Harlan (Sr.), who was selected to be in Angelica Busciglio’s (Sr.) dance to “Holy Water” by Laurel, commented on the preparation process: “It takes a lot of trial and error. Angelica has all the choreography set, but our positions and how we get to them aren’t exactly set in stone. We have to work around which dancers need to be in certain places for certain parts of the piece, and we need to work a lot with timing.”

Nevertheless, she remains positive that given more rehearsals and practices, the dance will come together. “As long as we have the choreography down, everything will fall into place as we keep working with it.”

Though choreography is essential to creating a captivating piece, Efron believes it is also the most difficult part. “Finding movement that truly represents my emotions, and coordinating everyone is the hardest part,” she said. Her piece is set to Hozier’s “Sedated,” which has many intricate beats and gradual rhythmic build-ups. Conveying the emotions behind this dynamic musical selection is a challenging yet rewarding process.

As a freshman this year at UHS, Desiree Chong (Fr.), feels Showcase is a great opportunity to not only gain performance experience, but also to meet new people and get involved in the dance community. “From what I’ve done so far in showcase, it’s made me less nervous talking to upperclassmen or just people in general. Even when I’m walking to class, I already see more people that I know. I think it is a really great experience in my first year of high school. If I have time next year, I would definitely consider doing Showcase again.”

The various pieces dancers are currently preparing will be performed in Dance Showcase on May 26 and 27 at 7 PM in the Big Theater.

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