PHOTO GALLERY: Dance brings ‘Wonder’ to winter concert

Story by Ellie Campbell
Associate Sports Editor

Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
Staff Photographer

The SPHS Dance Program showcased student talent and creativity in the annual winter concert on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. The performance consisted of six dance numbers dedicated to renowned American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, with a majority of the acts choreographed by the dance students themselves.

The first act opened with a spirited bang, playing Wonder’s song “Higher Ground.” Other musical numbers included the classic “Sir Duke” and “Isn’t She Lovely.” Members of Dance II and III and Color Guard made use of the entire stage through expansive, contemporary choreography. The stage was covered with multiple colored spotlights to capture Wonder’s characteristically “funky” vibe.

“Our dances had a fun, jazzy vibe because Stevie’s music is so upbeat and energetic that we couldn’t help but show that in our dancing,” junior and dance co-captain Kayla Nielsen said.

Students displayed their talents in a variety of dance types, including hip-hop, ballet, modern, tap, and even traditional flamenco. The performers changed costumes many times throughout the show, donning both vibrant colored tops and conservative dark workout clothes during appropriate scenes.

The second act showcased student-choreographed pieces danced to a diverse blend of musical choices, such as Billie Eilish, Hozier, and Beyoncé. Guest artists Claire Kucera, an SPHS dance program alumna, and Julianna Bulgarelli, a dance teacher at The Colburn School Trudl Zipper Dance Institute, also helped choreograph two pieces.

“We all had a lot of fun and enjoyed performing Ms. Cheyne’s dances as well as our own, which gave us a chance at making our own choreography to show everyone,” sophomore Teja Moe said.

The show had a tight four-week rehearsal period, providing little time for the performers to learn their choreographed dances.

“This concert seemed to happen in a lot less time than previous shows, and we all felt a little rushed,” senior dance co-captain Tabitha Okitsu said. “[However] by mid tech-week, I felt we had [all] gotten pretty comfortable with the show.”

The SPHS Dance program will soon begin preparations for its Spring Recital in May 2020.

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