From hip-hop, jazz and tap, to a hybrid of modern dance and traditional Chinese fan dancing, student choreographers and dancers are preparing for the Winter Dance Concert early next month.
One of the most popular productions each year, the concert features 65 dancers in 15 dances, plus several students working as tech crew, stage managers, light and soundboard operators, and backstage crew.
One of the concert’s main draws is that it’s “quintessentially Milton,” involving trained dancers who take dance classes as part of their curriculum, alongside students who are dancing for the first time, says performing arts faculty member Kelli Edwards. “We have students for whom dance is really a priority, and then others who took a chance and auditioned,” Kelli says. “That combination makes it a richer experience for everybody.”
Student dancer and choreographer Annie Auguste (II) says the Dance Concert is a great way to build relationships with students across class years and to connect with adults on campus. “It’s also nice to be part of something that everyone in the community can appreciate and enjoy watching,” says Annie, who is choreographing the finale piece. “For the choreographers, it’s a really great leadership opportunity, and a great outlet for self-expression.”
The Winter Dance Concert opens in King Theatre on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m., followed by performances Friday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 4, at 7 p.m.
The student one-act plays are highly anticipated every year, as a venue for student directors and actors to showcase their talents in a broad array of plays and topics. This year the production includes three one-act plays, completely directed, acted and tech-supported by students.
Henry Claudy (I) is directing for the second time, and he has chosen the play “Face Divided” by Edward Allan Baker. The drama takes place in a Providence emergency room, where a mother brings her injured young daughter, but questions arise about the injury when the father arrives. Henry says most of his Milton theater experiences focused on comedy, so he wanted to try something different.
“I love directing,” says Henry. “A lot of the necessary skills apply to life outside the theater. I love running the auditions. It’s fun finding a scene for the actors and seeing how they choose to perform it. This play contains some really challenging scenes, especially between the husband and wife.”
Alex Chen (II) is directing “English Made Simple” by David Ives. “I chose the play because it is a funny, short play about the little details of English conversation. A guy and a girl meet at a party and proceed to have a standard conversation. However, as the play progresses, the audience is made aware of their true history. A third character, who acts more like a teacher, shares with the audience the ways that English speech works, and what generally meaningless small talk actually means. I love how the play starts out like an instructional video, teaching viewers how to chat with others and ends up with a couple with a newfound love for each other.”
Dorsey Glew (II) is directing “Yesterday” by Colin Campbell Clements. “I chose the play because it was written in the 1920s, so I could play with the time period and with this story. The actors and director can play with the characters’ many nuances.”
You can enjoy this weekend’s one-act plays in the Studio Theatre on Thursday, February 23, and Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 25 at 7 p.m.
Centre Connection, Milton's online newsletter for parents, is published five times each year through the efforts of the Milton Academy Communication Office and Parents' Association volunteers.