This past weekend, the students at Youth Performing Arts School displayed a diversity of talent and interest at their Dance Concert 2011. The program began with "Battlepointe," a ballet piece that was anything but traditional. The dancers, dressed in stiff black tutus topped with black or white hooded sweatshirts, pirouetted, leaped, and sashayed with attitude. Sometimes they seemed confrontational, even exchanging words, and other times they seemed content to dance side by side.
The next number, "Converge," brought the talent of the lighting and stage crew to light, as well as showcasing the dancers' skills, by beginning and ending with the dancers silhouetted in dark costumes against a glowing fuchsia backdrop. This choreography explored contrast: neighboring dancers moved simultaneously slowly and quickly, some crouched or danced near to the floor while others stood tall, and some travelled forward when others stayed back. However, after any crescendo of opposition, the dancers once again met in some form of convergence, ultimately finishing in the linear position in which they had begun.
Students performed the piano accompaniment in the third piece, "Warm Love/Cold End (One Woman's Perspective"), and Jeffersonville's own Margaret Rose Porter-Wright composed the music. This dance was a series of four solo performances which grew darker in costume and heavier in movement as they progressed.
The first solo was light and airy, as the dancer nearly skipped and seemed almost childlike in her pink chemise-like dress; the second performed similarly with only a little more weight to her step and gravity to her movement. However, by the third solo, the dancer appeared in a darker purple chemise and her dancing matched her shadowy attire. She marked her confusion with her movement, leading to the fourth performance in which the dancer spent much time at her lowest, quite literally dancing on the stage's floor. Finally, the piece ended with all four dancers on stage, each lighter, hopeful girl paired with a weighted, despairing dancer.
The next several pieces, including "Crazy Love," "Just After Dark," and "Relinquish," students again showcased their talent in lighting, dance, and costuming. The dance ranged from complex tap routines to experimentally modern movements and flower-like mixed dance.
The final two pieces gave the audience just a glimpse into the full potential and power the students involved in the production exhibit. Latin beats, lyrical dance, and strong African rhythm magnified the energy of the dancers' passion and put the night to a perfect end.
(Photo: Courtesy of Youth Performing Arts School)