Masters Dance Company Offers Stunning and Moving Evening of Dance
Posted May 11, 2012
Twenty-one dancers participated in a stunning program of “An Evening of Dance” at The Masters School on May 4-5. Members of The Masters Dance Company and guest artists performed works ranging from classical East Indian dance, classical ballet variations, a humorous musical theatre dance piece, and a modern work delving into the heartache and challenges of Alzheimer’s disease.
Choreographers included Cynthia Anderson P’12, ’14, Barbara Angeline, Janaki Patrik, and the school’s Director of Dance Mary Rotella. The Alzheimer’s piece, “Unraveled,” is an intergenerational work that featured guest performances by Cynthia Anderson, Betsy Shiroma P’12, Jonathan Cerullo, and Mary Rotella. In addition, children of faculty members, including Adji Ngom, Jasmin Theeman, and Campbell Ives, danced in the moving program.
Ms. Rotella commented on the genesis of Unraveled, the touching work she created for the Evening of Dance:“Unraveled, a modern dance work about Alzheimer’s disease and its effects not only on the victim but those who care for and love them, was conceived out of a vision in response to a piece of music. Early in the fall I was listening to the music from the soundtrack of Amelie and was pulled in by track nine. I pushed repeat and listened to it several times. It was a moving piece that pulled at my heart. The third time listening to it, I had a vision of an older woman disoriented and lost wandering down our senior aisle in the theatre. Then I saw a young girl finding her and helping her to the stage, and they danced together while versions of their younger selves entered and danced parallel to them.
“Around the same time, my mother had shared a story about my dad’s sister Rita’s birthday. My aunt was in the later stages of the disease in a home and they had a birthday party for her. My mom was haunted by the fact Rita knew no one, but this party kept happening around her. She spoke of it several times and I knew that had to be portrayed in the work.
“I did a great deal of research and developed the piece around that and stories that people generously shared about their personal experiences with the disease in their families. I wanted to reflect all aspects of the disease in a way that brought awareness to the audience that had not experienced this personally. Even more so, I wanted to recognize those who have lived it by portraying the journey’s heartache, struggles, love, and joy. The students were asked to commit totally as actors as well as dancers and we all enjoyed the fact that it was an intergenerational work. Many of us have used the word ‘profound’ to express what we have learned and gained from this project.
“We raised $1,249.00 for the Alzheimer’s Association at our two performances and we all hope that this piece can be presented at other venues as well. I wish to thank all who came to see the concert for their generosity and support!”
Congratulations to The Masters Dance Company for an exceptional performance!
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