By Leah Soffer '14, Contributing Writer
As spring rolls around and Jacqua Quad is filled once again with sunbathers, the dancers performing in the Scripps Spring Dance Concert are putting the finishing touches on the pieces they have been rehearsing all semester. As always, the show will include the theses of many senior Dance majors and some works by professors. This year, there is a remarkable amount of innovation in dance, including dances with live musicians and extensive props.
Ronnie Brosterman, chair of the Scripps Dance department and Scripps faculty member for 30 years, is choreographing an especially innovative piece. The piece, “The Cracked Kettle,” is set to music written by Harvey Mudd Professor of Music, Bill Alves. The music is sung a cappella and will be performed live by the Claremont Chamber Choir with direction by Charles Kamm.
Brosterman and Alves have been speaking about this collaboration since the summer. They agreed that he could create whatever music he wanted and Brosterman began choreographing the piece without having heard the music. She strung together movements that reflected her interpretation of the basics of language and built upon each phrase to convey a loose sense of linguistic development. The dancers worked with a recording of the Chamber Choir, but the Choir will be performing live onstage with the dances for all three performances.
Another Scripps Professor of Dance, Joel Smith, built upon a work he choreographed as part of his performance duo casebolt and smith. Smith, along with artistic partner, Liz Casebolt, adapted a duet seated at a table into a work with six performers using a table 45 feet long.
Dance major Victoria Wolfe (PZ ’12) also worked with large props on stage. Her dance reflects various properties of water. On stage, Wolfe’s dancers interact with a series of cubes that has allowed them to explore more movement.
Dance minor Sara Cronin (‘12) also has a work presented in the concert. Her dance is based on the concept of fear, and she plays with various ways to cope with fear. In addition to traditional choreography, she also includes segments created by her dancers and sections of improvisation, so every performance will be unique. She chose to blend multiple pieces of music together to create a final piece of music that would not be easily recognizable to the audience. It was also important to Cronin that her dance not be pretty. “I wanted to make just an absolutely disgusting dance,” she mentioned. “Ironically, parts of it really came out quite nicely and could be called ‘pretty.’”
The show will be Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 14 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m in the Scripps Garrison Theater. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. shows and 1:30 for the 2 p.m. shows. Students, faculty, staff and senior admission is $5 and general admission is $10.