AVPA Dance: Choreographing Based On Inspirations


Sofia Pezo, Copy Editor

AVPA Dance will be holding their annual fall dance concert this week, titled “Inspired By…”. The theme of this fall’s dance concert was “Artists that inspire you”, and the dancers chose multiple famous figures who served as the inspiration for their dances, whether it be reflected through their costumes, songs, or choreography. 

“The theme is always selected through a conversation with the Dance Council, our student leaders, and current ideas we have for our dances,” said Carol Zee, the Creative Director of AVPA Dance.

Ms. Zee explained that students were not limited to choosing only dancers as their inspiration. She said that many chose notable poets, activists and singers as their inspiration. Some examples of these, which are included on the poster for the dance concert, are Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, and Celia Cruz.

Maya Rizzo, one of the co-presidents of AVPA Dance, selected Michael Jackson as her inspiration for one of her dances. 

“I was introduced to his music through my parents, and I remember watching his music videos and being amazed by how he moved,” she said. “He’s the reason why I started dancing.”

The majority of the dances in the concert were choreographed by dance students who are in a choreography class. Taniah Orr, the other co-president of AVPA Dance, choreographed a group dance inspired by the spoken word poet and author Clint Smith. 

“I wanted to create an environment through which the audience understands how many issues the world is facing but that is built off of the idea that we can’t get through it alone,” Orr said.

Two dances that will be showcased in the concert are faculty pieces and will close the show. Professional artists Beth Iguchi and Seda Aybay choreographed these dances. One of these dances is titled “NINA” and is about the legacy of the infamous singer Nina Simone. 

“It’s not like anything we’ve ever done before,” Orr said. “We’re dancing around with a prop while showcasing the most beautiful movement. I’m really excited to see the audience’s reaction!”

Although the company is separated into two levels, which rehearse on different days of the week, they meet once a week as a whole to bond as a team and play games. 

“[We’ve] grown closer throughout the year,” Rizzo said.

Ms. Zee says she enjoys watching the process of creating each dance and how it all comes together onstage. “I’ve been here for four years now, and the quality of student work gets better and better!”

“Inspired By…” will be held this week from November 17-19 in the Robert Frost Auditorium at 7 PM. Tickets are $5 and are available at the box office.