Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU’s production of Dances We Dance impresses the audience

Staring out into the crowd, the ballet dancers in their black tutus and sequined silver belts swiftly moved their arms and legs in synch. Becoming one with the music, the dancers became a piece of art on stage. The audience watched as the performance unfolded, with the ballerinas doing twirls and showing off their flexibility.

Friday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. was opening night of the Department of Theatre and Dance’s production of Dances We Dance: Celebrate the Holidays.

Over the years, Dances We Dance has developed into a holiday performance because of the time of year the production is put on. Deborah Kahn choreographed “Save the Children,” a contemporary dance showcasing a pregnant woman’s journey in caring for and protecting children.

Kahn has been choreographing dances for approximately 40 years. Beginning rehearsals in October, Kahn was pleased with the outcome of the event.

“I’m really proud of them. They really did an awesome job,” Kahn said. “They have a lot on their plate. A lot of them work, they have other classes, they had exams this week. And several of them are in several dances. There’s a lot of rehearsal time. So it’s an effort.”

Rehearsal for Kahn’s dance was once a week, while rehearsals for the other dances in the show such as a contemporary dance to Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine and the modern dances were twice a week. Students were able to see the effort the dancers had put into the two hour long show.

“So far, the choreography has been pretty good,” sophomore ocean engineering major Youkendy Mera said. “I always watch [dancers] very intently and all the dancers looked like they know what they are doing and they were very confident about it.”

The amount of experience the dancers had varied throughout the performers. While some had professional experience, others had no experience. It’s required for theatre majors to take two dance classes, which is where some of the dancers with no original experience came from.

“It was a little nerve-wracking but it paid off,” one of the dancers Alex Salup, a senior theatre major said.

Salup said because of most of the students in his classes’ lack of experience, they had to work especially hard.

“Most of them had minimal or no dance experience. So it’s really interesting coming together. It’s a really great and rewarding experience for sure,” Salup said.

With new dancers blending in with the professionals, the dancers all managed to inspire audience members. Christopher Ohanian, a student who recently graduated from FAU with a BM in piano performance, said the performers made him want to take up dancing.

“I’m actually really enjoying it,” Ohanian said. “It’s actually made me kind of want to start to do this sort of thing myself.”

Ohanian’s main focus throughout college was piano performance, “but I’ve always wanted to dance … and this thing, these students who are kind of professional but also amateurs. It really looks like so much fun,” he said. The dancers portrayed the emotion of the song they were dancing to as they performed through the choreography.

As a girl in a red dress danced to At Last by Etta James, she goofily crawled on the floor, ran and jumped showing the giddiness of having the one she wants “at last.” Her dance moves made audience members giggle at the silly moments where she’d crawl and jump around and left them echoing the word “awe” as her dance came to an end with the spotlight on her and a smile spread on her face.

For the modern dance class, rehearsals were on Mondays and Wednesdays. The ballet class rehearsals were on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Then there was Tech week, where they’d have dress rehearsals and tech rehearsals to make sure everything with the sound and lighting was set for the actual show.

“It was hectic because not everybody would be there everyday,” Alex Salup said. “When you’re missing one person, it kind of throws the whole dance off. But everything came together and it’s awesome.”

The audience was filled with students, family members, and the elderly community. The crowd filled up many of the 530 seats in the theatre. Surprised by the talent in the dancers, students were left feeling good and some were almost brought to tears by the performances.

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