Student Creativity Moves Onstage


The annual high school spring dance concert “Fourteen” sweeps through the Artists’ Theatre May 1-3.

Each night at 7:30 p.m., the kaleidoscopic moves of 45 hard-working dancers will bring the vision of five professional and four student choreographers to life.  Shot-through with music spanning classical to pop, rock-fusion to Broadway chestnuts, hip-hop to everything in-between, the show promises an evening of kinetic energy onstage.

Dance department chair Lisa Jay continues to expand opportunities for students to choreograph, and this year the show features the work of four non-professionals: Ellie Scharf, Gabriella Bechtel, Maya Keces and alumnus James Luby, of the class of 2009. Their creative process reveals the depth of this art-form, as they share below.

Relationships and the social issues that affect them inspire Senior Ellie Scharf’s piece, “Connections.”

“When I was a child I had trouble expressing myself and my true emotions,” she said. “I masked my feelings and kept everything bottled up. Once I started taking dance I found an outlet.”

Senior Maya Keces’ work “Overthrown” was inspired by civil unrest. “It talks about people being controlled by a larger power and how they are able to come together in the end as one.  The choreography highlights the importance of supporting each other in order to progress.”

Junior Gabriella Bechtel’s piece, “Sweet Dreams,” transforms a dream into reality. “I was inspired by the innocence and playfulness of dolls and thought that adding a dark twist to their characters would make for an interesting turn,” she said.

James Luby’s work “Radioactive,” takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where people morph into zombies. “The art form gave me a sense of freedom I hadn’t experienced before, and I found a love for self-expression through choreography.  Moving my body to express my thoughts and feelings was cathartic for me, and it felt very natural to do so,” he said.

Tickets are $20 for reserved seating, $15 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. The box office opens at 6 p.m. preceding the show. (949) 497-7769.


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