As the end of the winter season approaches, so too does the long cherished annual Vervé dance showcase.
Students involved in the after school concert dance troupe have been rehearsing tirelessly to perfect their diverse lineup of dances, some even choreographed by Baylor students. Seniors Liz Li and Cecilia Rodriguez will present their pieces, which were also featured in the Emerging Choreographers show in November. Rodriguez’s modern piece is sure to leave you struck with emotion– as well as goosebumps– and Li’s unique piece combines traditional elements of Chinese history and culture with contemporary dance styles. Faculty members Cathy Pettway, Jennia Shanley, Elizabeth Roemer, Karen Smith, and Margaret Harman choreographed the remaining pieces for both high school and middle school.
The show incorporates a variety of different styles of dance, including contemporary, modern, alternative jazz, and ballet. Dance director Cathy Pettway even brought in guest choreographer Maggie Pelton from the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater to challenge the dancers with an African piece. Pettway admits that this “fun, high energy piece” was a formidable task for the dancers, who had little experience with this style of dance up until this point. The much anticipated debut of tap will have to wait, as the dancers are “still learning the basics” of the new addition to the after school curriculum. Pettway hints at the possibility of a tap piece being included in Last Chance Dance at the end of the semester, after the dancers have had more time to master the essentials and become more comfortable in their shoes.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 2019 production of Vervé– a show that Pettway feels is “technically a step above than it ever has been before.” She admires how much her dancers have learned this year and how they have improved to “a more advanced level.” Accompanied by the talent on the stage are also “all kinds of possibilities” for more intricate and unique lighting arrangements, which are sure to enhance the beautiful choreography and costumes. The greater flexibility and creativity in the technical aspects of the show were made possible by the addition of LED lights in the theater as well as the expertise of faculty member Garrett Walsh and senior Nick Perlaky. Many thanks as well to Peyton McGilberry, Jade Liu, Karina Quinn, and Molly Stanfield for their work on the tech crew and backstage.
The annual Vervé performance will take place in the Roddy Theater Wednesday, Jan. 30 - Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. as well as Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.