The upper school dance production, a yearly celebration of dance with choreography by upper school dance teachers and students, was presented in late January. This year’s production, “Be-A-Muse(d),” was designed by artistic director Laura Rae as an investigation of inspiration and creative processes in the natural world.
“Be-A-Muse(d)” heavily showcased technology to tell its story, with twin projector screens flanking the Blackford stage, reflecting a series of breathtaking panoramas and metropolitan vignettes.
This year’s production drew its music from a panoply of popular, classical, cultural and expressive sources, making room for contemporary bands like Muse and Temper Trap alongside a Hans Zimmer soundtrack, Charles Lingus’ jazz and Niña Pastori’s flamenco.
Student dancers wore shimmering, futuristic outfits that reflected the stage lights, and one memorable moment featured a musical number composed entirely from the startup sounds of a Windows computer.
The production reached its apex in the rendition of the heartbreaking song “This Bitter Earth.” There, dancers in dusty, brown, wrinkled costumes – like decaying leaves in autumn – danced a dipping, worn-down ode, an illustration of the death required for seasonal rebirth.
“Be-A-(Muse)d” was choreographed by teachers Laura Rae, Karl Kuehn, Amalia Vasconi and Adrian Bermudez, along with students Carmen Das-Grande, Katie Forsberg, Nidhi Gandhi, Amiritha Minisandram, Daisy Mohrman, Naomi So, Kenny Wong, Erica Woolsey, all grade 12; Sarika Asthana, Sonya Chalaka, Sarah Howells, Margaret Krackeler, all grade 11; and Tiphaine Delepine, Michaela Kastelman, Molly Wolfe, all grade 10.