Yale’s dance groups are looking forward to a weekend of upbeat performances as they prepare to stage their biggest shows of the semester.
YaleDancers, Groove Dance Company and Rhythmic Blue will put on their annual fall shows this Thursday through Sunday. All three groups are entirely student-run companies that perform self-choreographed dances in styles ranging from jazz and lyrical to contemporary and even West African. Groove will put on a show that is more focused on jazz and lyrical pieces than in previous years, according to Groove president Laura Burston ’16.
“There are highs and lows in the show, and we’ve arranged it in such a way that both the energy and styles are varied,” said Burston.
Several of Groove’s dances will be set to music by a variety of bands, including the recently-disbanded “Life Size Ghosts.” Joana Andoh ’17, who choreographed the piece, said that the dance contains a series of simple moves that require a lot of tension in movement, followed by a relaxed, flowing sequence. Leah Chernoff ’15, who choreographed another piece to the song “How You Love Me” by 3LAU and Heather Bright, said that her dance has five performers moving in complete synchronization on stage as a major component of the piece, noting that she was inspired by the interplay between the song’s vocal and instrumental elements.
Traditionally, Groove’s shows have featured “interludes,” which are short pieces ranging from a minute to a minute and a half in duration that showcase a specific style of movement. There will be six interludes in the upcoming performance. Andoh said her interlude is set to a song titled “Inspiration” from the 2012 film “Ruby Sparks,” explaining that the piece starts with a crescendo that gradually fades.
The YaleDancers show is composed of roughly seven big group pieces, three duets and eight solos. YD president Gracie White ’16 said their group finale is a “sassy” jazz piece based on Adele’s “Rumour Has It” in which performers will wear sparkling accessories in a “housewives vs. mistresses” battle.
“We flow between sections that are more tense with rigid movements and other sections where we release and let the music flow through us more,” said Jillian Kravatz ’17 about one of the pieces she choreographed, which is inspired by James Blake’s “Retrograde.”
Luyi Chen ’18, a member of YD, said that the group provides an opportunity for freshman dancers to contribute their input on the dances as well. Everyone is encouraged to try their hand at choreographing by pitching a piece to the whole company at the beginning of each semester, she explained. Sarah Xiao ’17, a member of Groove, said she thinks that it is important for company members, especially new dancers, to gain choreographic experience with each successive show.
Nicole Fish ’16, another YD member, highlighted the changes the group has seen in the past several years, particularly in the weekly dance classes that the company attends. She noted that a few years ago, all of the classes were taught by company members, but the group has since been able to hire dance professionals to teach the classes.
Groove Dance Company was founded in 2002.