The Art of Dance Meets the Art of Storytelling

If dance is its own language, then Masters Dance Company (MDC) has a lot to say.
The 18 artists in the upper school dance group will take the stage this weekend to tell meaningful stories, convey invaluable lessons, and share personal experiences in “Journeys, Stories, and Fables.” 

For their fall production, the members of MDC took inspiration from the folktales and fables, as well as journeys that the choreographers created. “The stories teach valuable lessons from everyday life,” said Shell Benjamin, director of MDC. “Connecting on an emotional level to make the lessons more meaningful.”

The nine dances in the performance will showcase a wide range of styles, including lyrical, hip-hop, swing, and theater jazz; the music selections have a similar breadth: “Everything from the classics — like Ella Fitzgerald — to techno,” Shell said. 

Juan Torres ’25 was particularly moved by two pieces: an interstitial about Anansi the spider, a fable that touches on themes of greed, empathy and compassion; and “Journey of Love,” a reflection on happiness. 

“As a junior grappling with academics, affinities and dance, I'm often struggling in my path to happiness,” Torres reflected. “This piece, however, grounds me and allows me to understand that it's okay to struggle — that my path toward happiness will come with obstacles, and I will eventually get through it.” 

Keira Burgos ’24, who has danced with MDC since ninth grade, said, “This year's theme has inspired me as a choreographer because it really highlights the connection between dancing and stories with morals. Each dance has its own unique story, and it takes immense creativity and craftsmanship to create a coherent tale through the shaping and movement of 18 bodies.”

Fellow senior Christina Moore is excited about performing in her last fall dance concert and even more so about handing over the proverbial baton. “I love being able to guide the new dancers and be a role model as they enter into the dance program that has been so influential to me during high school,” she said. 

Taking the School’s mission — to be a power for good in the world — to heart, MDC members will once again use their performances to raise awareness and funds for a nonprofit. For their fall performances, they have selected Art Start, which helps young people from marginalized communities discover their talents and passions.

As MDC puts the finishing touches on its program, Torres has one piece of advice: “Expect to have your mind blown.” 

Don’t miss “Journeys, Stories, and Fables” on Friday, November 10, at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 11, at 8:00 p.m. in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre.

SHARE Article