January 19, 4:00 PM. In 1C09, dancers and choreographers all in black crowded on the right side of the room. Some were calmly stretching, some reviewing routines, and some sitting quietly with serious expressions as they tried to relax. An anxious mood hung over the presenters while the small group of audience members sat in bleachers in the gray-curtained room. Every year, the dance department holds an informal dance project in the school dance studio. For many of these IBHL Year 2 and Honors Dance 4 students, the pieces they were showcasing would be their last at Taipei American School.
Fourteen performances passed smoothly, and the evening ended with a short Q&A between the choreographers and the audience. Each piece displayed originality, hard work, and, most importantly, individuality. These artists used movement to convey personal messages that really drove into the audience’s heart. As performances went on, one could not only see admiration from the viewers but also pride in the teachers watching from the side. Afterwards, Mrs. Flemming said, “Overall, I was very pleased with the work this time.”
A few dancers shared the hardest parts about the choreographing process. Emma C.(12) in her solo piece, “Bent,” attempted to explore different dance styles using a funky soundtrack by Yann Tiersan. The hardest part when creating her piece was trying to come up with original movements. Also performing a solo, Jeffrey H. (12) created “This Should Not Be You” about a concept with which the audience was all too familiar: procrastination. Similar to Emma, he found that doing a solo was harder than anything else due to many limitations in movements and variation. Eliyah E. (12) choreographed a duet on indecisiveness, another issue that many high-schoolers can relate to. True to the title, “Make Up Your Mind,” the hardest part for her was trying to decide what movements to keep and take out. Perfection was a great obstacle in keeping the choreographing process going. Finally, Michael W. (12), with “Rejection,” used dance to express his feelings from a recent and personal incident. Getting rejected from college specifically inspired him to create this raw and emotional piece. However, doing this meant that he had to relive the experience, which was difficult to deal with.
Everyone delivered incredibly yesterday, further showing the talents of our TAS dancers. The Dance Project on Friday was only the start of many other showcases to come from them. On February 24, an IASAS/Varsity dance and drama showcase will take place at the auditorium and on April 14 there will be a final US Dance Showcase. Be sure to support the dancers of TAS in 2017!