The theme of the Masters Dance Company fall concert was “Just Dance!” — and did they ever.
The 15 company members gave it their all before enthusiastic crowds at Claudia Boettcher Theatre on November 11 and 12.
MDC Director Shell Benjamin described the genres on display. “The dances ranged from serious to silly personified, lyrical, African, musical theater, jazz and tap, along with some jump rope and childhood games!”
“We were able to synthesize so many styles of dance into one special and cohesive concert,” Christina Moore ’24 said. “Each piece told its own story, but together our theme of ‘Just Dance!’ came to life because of our positive and energetic spirits towards each dance.”
Senior Ellie Yang enjoyed performing in the last piece, “The Rehearsal Room,” choreographed by Josh Zacher, a professional choreographer who has been working with MDC since Yang’s freshman year.
“I feel like everyone has become comfortable with his style and shares the joy his choreography brings,” Yang explained. “The entire company felt like one big family whenever we performed this dance.”
The piece was also a favorite of Nico Riley ’23. “It followed a group of ballet dancers who break free from the strict, unfeeling discipline that had been instilled in them and learn to dance freely,” he said. “This sort of ballet-modern-Broadway infusion was particularly fun for me to do because to tell that story for the audience and experience that freedom that our characters were feeling was nothing short of cathartic.”
The dancers on stage weren’t the only ones showing off their moves. During five breaks throughout the concert, audience members were invited to stand up and dance with help from student-led video tutorials projected on the big screen. It culminated in one big dance performance at the end of the concert.
For Yang, this concert was “powerful because of those interactive elements where we engaged the audience. It was a process of connection and reconnection through dance.”
Benjamin spoke of the “joy and exuberance that had been shared and given” from the first rehearsal to the final bow. “They poured their hearts and souls into the work and embraced all challenges that had been given to them,” she said.
The company’s “dancing advocates” dedicated the concert to support the mission of Dancing Dreams, a New York-based nonprofit that provides dance classes for children and young people with medical or physical disabilities.