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Posts Tagged: Moving Stories

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Hi again! Just wanted to give you all an update on how Moving Stories 2013 went now that the show has come to a close. Last time I blogged, we were closing up rehearsals and beginning our work in tech. Although it was a hectic week to say the least, the show came together wonderfully for opening night. The combination of Lara’s dazzling costumes, Paul’s brilliant lighting work and the fantastic choreography of nine students and one faculty member all came together to create an awesome night of work. As I have stated before, the works were greatly diverse in style and theme. This being said, my fellow Muhlenberg dancers stepped up to the challenge and performed wonderfully every night.

I personally was involved in two pieces of the show. The opening number, choreographed by Jaclyn Birkner, featured five dancers as Greek goddesses in beautiful purple gowns, fighting for power over the stage. A few pieces later in the show, I was also in Christine DeLuca’s work, featuring the struggles and triumphs of fitting into a group of friends. In this piece, each character was her own individual, allowing the cast to have lots of creative freedom. I can honestly say that I loved being in both of these works due to the hard work and dedication of my choreographers and the bonding I got to do with my wonderful fellow dancers. It continues to surprise me how much of a community Muhlenberg Dance really is, and I’m so honored to be a part of the family.

The actual run of the show seemed to fly by so quickly, especially with all of the fun ’Berg traditions every night. First came writing notes to place in each other’s Kiss the Cast bags. Then before every show was the shakeout, pass the squeeze, and a much-needed warmup by a member of the MDA, Teresa VanDenend Sorge, or Jeffrey Peterson. Physically coming together on stage as a cast before the show always seems to unify us and get us ready to perform to our greatest potential. After this, it was straight to the dressing room to touch up hair and makeup and get into costume. It seemed as soon as the shows began, they were finished, but I can honestly say that they were worth all of the time and effort that was put into them. I wouldn’t change my involvement in the MDA for anything.

In typical Muhlenberg fashion, the show must go on, even if you think it just ended. The day after our closing performance, I was up early once again rehearsing for my next performance in Master Choreographers. At this point, we have been through many rehearsals as well as one showing, and many of the pieces are choreographically complete. It is at this point that I get extra excited about pieces, because it is my work as a dancer to bring them to life. If you didn’t make it to Moving Stories, get excited for Masters 2014 in February. It is sure to be an incredible show!

Here are some photos of the pieces I was in from Moving Stories:

Some of the production photos from Moving Stories 2013!

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Hi everyone! I’m back again, blogging about some of our awesome dance shows here at Muhlenberg. This semester, I’m involved in Moving Stories, which opens next week (!), and Master Choreographers, which will be performed in the spring. For Moving Stories, I am dancing in the works of two senior student choreographers: Christine DeLuca and Jaclyn Birkner. For Master Choreographers, I am cast in Dorrell Martin’s piece, and I’m also working as an understudy with fellow blogger Dalit in Jeffrey Peterson’s newest work. Rehearsals for both shows are well underway, with Moving Stories quickly approaching.

This year’s Moving Stories performance will feature the work of nine amazing student choreographers as well as Muhlenberg faculty member Teresa VanDenend Sorge. We began rehearsing for these pieces a few times a week immediately after auditions early in the year, and have just completed our third showing of the pieces to faculty members. For this most recent showing, finished pieces were presented complete with costume options by our awesome guest costume designer, Lara De Bruijn. Seeing all of the works in the final stages of the rehearsal process is very fulfilling, due to the process it took to get them there. I am particularly excited about this year’s show because of the sheer variety of dance styles in the show — from pointe work to pieces infused with images of ancient Greece. Overall, I expect it to be an excellent show that you won’t want to miss. Tech week is just around the corner, get your tickets before it’s too late!

Rehearsals have been just as busy for Master Choreographers as well. For Jeffrey Peterson’s work, I am responsible for knowing the parts of all the dancers in case of absence or injury. Although it can be a tricky job, I’m so thankful for the experience to work with such a conceptually advanced piece. Over halfway finished, this piece is sure to be one the audience will remember. Rehearsals for Dorrell Martin’s piece began just recently, on a busy weekend in which he came to Muhlenberg. In just one weekend, with many hours of intense rehearsal, we were able to nearly complete his entire dance. I absolutely love Dorrell’s choreography style, a kind of jazz-modern fusion. The first Muhlenberg performance I ever saw, as a prospective student, was Master Choreographers, and Dorrell’s piece in that show took my breath away. I wanted to dance like those Muhlenberg dancers, which sealed the deal on my choice of colleges. Two years later, I am absolutely honored to be cast in a piece with the same impact as his previous works. I look forward to this February’s performance, and you should too. It’s definitely not one to miss!

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Working on our poses for Christine DeLuca’s Moving Stories piece!

Over 400 votes later, here are the winners from our profile picture contest! Each of these pictures will be our Facebook Profile Picture at some point this semester. We decided to use the two top choices from ON THE TOWN, as they were the two most popular pictures out of the whole bunch, and only came in one vote apart.

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Hello all! After a crazy, long, and stressful week, I’m back to tell you about my awesome experiences in my first Muhlenberg production, Moving Stories! This past week consisted of long hours of dress rehearsals, cue-to-cues, and lots of practice, which all came together in an overwhelming success. Before I get to that though, I’m going to start at the beginning.

Beginning late last week, dress rehearsals and tech began on our Baker stage. Each night, a few dance pieces got an allotted time slot to test out their spacing, experiment with stage lighting, and run the dance in costume. This was the time to fix any problems, whether it was a late lighting cue or my ill-fitting pants. While not on stage, the rest of the cast had some time to relax in the lavender lounge (Muhlenberg’s version of a green room) and bond before the show. As any dancer could guess, this time was filled with lots of jokes, songs, and of course back massages.

Once Thursday rolled around, this relaxing backstage atmosphere was transformed into a bubble of excitement. Before the show, I was introduced to many of the Muhlenberg dance traditions, including gift giving, kiss the cast, crew dance, pass the squeeze, and “the shakeout.” An hour before the show, all dancers were calling onstage for a fun warm-up led by professors Jeffrey Peterson and Teresa VanDenend Sorge, or Meredith, our Muhlenberg Dance Association president, to calm our nerves. We were then sent back upstairs, where we put the finishing touches on our hair and makeup and got into costume.

Before we knew it, it was show time. Every night of performances, the audience filled the theatre and the dancers were ready. Each performance went incredibly smoothly, and every dance piece looked even better on stage than it had in rehearsals. The piece I was in, “Self-Mediation” by Sean Vanin ’13, was third in the show, giving me just enough time to enjoy the rest of the performance.

Although shows ended Saturday night, I was lucky enough to get one last chance to perform Sean’s piece… in New York! Sean and Emily Ancona’s pieces were both chosen to go to a College Connect dance showing in the city at Dance New Amsterdam. At 7 a.m. Sunday morning, our two casts boarded the bus for a day filled with dance. After watching and performing pieces, all of the dancers and choreographers gave feedback on each other’s works and suggested improvements. 

Quite obviously, my week was filled with dance, but it’s not over for me yet. Now that I have checked Moving Stories off of my to-do list, I am moving on to my next show, the informal dance concert. Come check it out in December! I’ll keep you updated on all of my dancing news, but until then, here are some backstage shots from Moving Stories!

Left/Top: "Self-Mediation" cast practicing their "virus" pose.

Right/Bottom: The freshmen in Moving Stories! (minus Tommy)

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Moving Stories opens tonight! “Merde” to all the dancers and choreographers!Tickets are still available for all performances: 484-664-3333 or http://bit.ly/VOf3ru

Moving Stories opens tonight! “Merde” to all the dancers and choreographers!
Tickets are still available for all performances: 484-664-3333 or http://bit.ly/VOf3ru

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Hey there, friends!

I’m excited to finally be posting! I can honestly say I’ve simply been trying to get a picture to add to this coming spiel, and I finally did! Hooray! Now, onto business…

I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving break already… where did this semester go?! BUT before you pack up your dorm rooms and slip on your Turkey Day aprons, be sure you pick up some tickets for the dance department’s Moving Stories production! I can tell ya, from an insider’s perspective, it’s something you won’t want to miss. 

So a little about the piece I’m performing in. My choreographer is Nina Pongratz, and for three hours a week I find myself in the company of not only her positive and go-getting attitude, but an additional eleven wonderful cast members. I know what you’re thinking: sheesh, that’s a gigundo cast! And indeed, we are a large group, but we work rather wonderfully together! Rehearsals are a blast and a half, and I can always count on all of them to make me smile. The piece in itself is a musical theatre-y/jazz piece set to a beautiful, upbeat score that makes everyone around want to get up off their tushes and dance because of its “life is beautiful, everything is perfect, and I feel like a ray of sunshine” effect. And guess what? WE’RE FINISHED! HOORAH! Next step: practice on practice on practice. 

Tonight happens to mark the end of the third showing for this production. This basically means that earlier in the evening, all of the choreographers lined up with their dancers (for the third time) this semester to get feedback from the faculty on the progress of their pieces thus far. Since we’re getting closer to the big day, a few of us got to play dress up tonight too! It was a real good time—that is, until I ended up half dead on the floor of the Dance Studio Theatre. This dance gives new meaning to the saying, “It takes my breath away.” You never really appreciate the simple luxury that is water until your lungs seem to have taken on the weight of three bricks in approximately five minutes.

I’ll be sure to keep you all posted as we get closer to show day! But for now, enjoy this picture of (the majority of) the cast. We have: Sean at the top, then me, Tommy, Tyler, Dahlya, Kevin, Bryan, Emily, and Chelsea! (Jess, Ali, and Britt had to make a run for it seeing as they had other rehearsals. What talented little gems they are!) Also, notice the curlers in Emily and Chelsea’s hair? They’re performing in On the Town! Merde to you, my beautiful cast mates! Show ‘em what you’re made of!

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PS: Want to know more about the show? Well, you’re in luck because Moving Stories was just featured on talkdanceworld.com. Check out the article here!

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Hi everyone! I’m Natalie, a freshman dancer here at Muhlenberg. The last few months have been a whirlwind of exciting new experiences. Crazy new dance classes, opportunities with amazing choreographers, countless auditions and brilliant shows are only the beginning of what I have found Muhlenberg has to offer. If anyone has a love for exploring dance, I promise you that this is the place to get involved.

After the nerve-wracking first week of auditions, I was super excited to hear that I got cast in one dance piece in Moving Stories and two pieces in the fall informal dance concert. Ever since this news, my weeks have been filled with rehearsals for both shows. I am delighted to say that just this week we completed the piece for Moving Stories, and received our eye-catching costumes from Constance Case, the show’s costume designer. 

For the informal dance concert, we have spent much of our time in rehearsals during the last couple weeks exploring a wide array of movement, music selections, and storylines. I can truthfully say that I already can see some amazing dance works coming from this process, varying from energetic jazzy numbers to lyrical ballet styles. I praise these choreographers for taking the time to explore these innovative new ideas. 

I also encourage you all to come see these two awesome shows here at Muhlenberg! Moving Stories runs from Nov. 15-17, and the informal show is Dec.5-6! That’s all for now, but I attached a picture you can see below of an informal dance rehearsal. Here you see a still shot of a rather comedic piece. I hope you’ll come to see the rest!