Fall Dance Performance Takes Off

Lively music. Synchronized movement. Beautiful choreography. Western Reserve Academy’s 2016 fall dance performance, titled Leaving on a Jet Plane and performed in KFAC on November 11th and 12th, was an incredible performance filled with vivid colors and exciting dance moves. When questioned about the process that led to this amazing performance, director Emily Barth commented, “For me, the amazing part of the process is watching the growth of the students. From the early stages of the rehearsal process to the final performance, the amount of improvement that takes place is of course necessary, but also incredible.” Olivia Chan ’17 added, “All the WRA dancers have practiced for several months and we were excited to finally bring it to stage. I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.”
As the title indicates, the music and choreography suggested journeying and exploration. According to Barth, “The music was chosen because it related to travel. Either the lyrics spoke of moving on, traveling, distance, or other aspects of travel or the music represented a certain place.” From Manhattan to Bombay to Amsterdam, 500 Miles to Come Away with Me to the production’s eponymous song Leaving on a Jet Plane, this performance and its music certainly showcased the idea of travelling to locations around the world.
The beautiful costumes were well suited to their respective musical numbers and contributed substantially to the feel of the performance. As Hanley Jefferis ’19 put it, “the costumes were amazing!” There is no doubt that this is true.
While some dancers expressed a feeling of stage fright, it is clear that they love what they do. “I’ve been performing on stage since I was very young.  After ten years, though, I still get nervous right before shows. However, dancing with my friends, both old and new, always gives me a passion for this art,” said Chan ’17. Jefferis ’19 added, “This was my first year doing dance and I have really bad stage fright, so I was very apprehensive about the performance. But in the end, it was so much fun to be up there! I wasn’t even nervous after the second show, which was astonishing!”
This was a splendid performance from the WRA dancers. It was an enjoyable experience for all involved, from the director to the dancers to the audiences. “I truly enjoy working with the dance students because they are hardworking and dedicated. Not to mention just fun!” remarked Barth.
Chan ’17 “cannot wait for the Reserve community to join us at the spring performance,” so mark your calendars on May 12th and 13th!

-Ilyana Smith ’20

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