ARTS & CLUBS
December 9 & 10 CoSA’s Classical and Contemporary Dance presented “ The Art of Reminiscing” in partnership with the San Diego chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The dance styles consisted of Modern, Ballet, and Contemporary with choreography from CoSA Dance Faculty, Viviana Alcazar, Whitney Edward, Trystan Merrick, Micheal Villela, Chelsea Zeffiro, and Conservator Director Ginna Bolles Sorensen. It also included choreography from CoSA Dance students Daniela Finch, Cate Gregory, Maria Julia Guerra, Bailey Manion, Lily McMaster, Sophie-Ella Hoey, Abigail Pearson, Sienna Pearson, and Isabella Zizzo.
The theme came about from community member Bob Crow. “Back in 2019, A gentleman in the community who lost his wife to Alzheimer’s came to the CoSA Office and presented this idea for a show he called Music Box Memory.” Sorenson said “It certainly inspired what it is we’ve created in terms of a lifetime presented on stage from birth to celebration.”
Inspiration for the dances began last school year during the spring term. “We started to outline lifetime landmarks or events that happen with many lives, not every life, but those landmarks that would show up in many folks’ lives,” Sorenson said. In the fall, the process started up again. “The students go through a process of proposing choreography they want to create. They had to create a project proposal, and at the time, students could draw from these “lifetime markers.” Student choreographers were tasked with researching the landmark they had selected to understand its meaning.
Sorenson, the director, choreographed two pieces for the show, including “After Party,” which was inspired by the celebration of life and was the show’s finale. “I knew early on that I wanted to tackle the celebration of life piece at the end of the show because I knew it was a delicate subject as we are reflecting on the end of life as we know on earth and whatever comes next, whatever that afterlife is.” Sorenson said, “I wanted to find a piece of music that was joyful. I had movement already, kind of starting to move my body, that felt really full of life. I was looking for music to support that joyful energy. Soon after, a title called “After Party” clicked as ‘Yes, this is the right idea.’ We are going into the afterlife. This is the party after the party.”
Sorenson also choreographed “Go On,” inspired by heartbreak, choosing to choreograph this piece “because I wanted to have a little control over the narrative over what heartbreak was because I know heartbreak from a teenage perspective is very different from heartbreak from an adult perspective. I wanted to be able to control that narrative.” Sorenson said
There were 19 dances in the show, seven choreographed by faculty and 12 choreographed by students. Senior Sienna Pearson co-choreographed two dances in the show and choreographed two of her pieces.
Sienna co-choreographed “This is not the end.” with her sister, sophomore Abigail Pearson. They were inspired by their close relationship and Sienna leaving for college. “Me and my sister are very close. We started dancing at the same time and have basically always danced together,” Sienna said. “This is kind of like the closing out of that journey. So it is sad, but it is a nice remembering thing, and it is fun to both collaborate on something and have it purely be our own, and it really is reflective of our experience and story.”
Sienna co-choreographed “New Birth” with CoSA Dance’s Tour Group, which explores how life starts and begins a new journey. She also choreographed “Diverging Choices,” about the decisions one has to make in life. The last dance she choreographed was “La Vie en Rose,” with the hallmark being lasting love. “It’s a contemporary, modern piece about love transcending time,” Sienna said. “There are lots of quirky moments. I was inspired by some swing dance moves.”
The week of the production, the dancers go through what is called tech week, where all of the technical elements are presented the week before the show. According to senior Helena Johnson, there are also bonding activities for the dancers. “We have student-led activities where in a group, people will either lead the warm-ups or create team bonding things for everyone in CoSA.” Johnson said, “Then we do [a] gift exchange on the day of the show.” Johnson is “looking forward to everything” in the show. “I am excited for people to see it.”
Sienna said, “I am just excited to be on stage and to get to perform to an audience, especially a live audience.”
VOL. 10, NO. 11 - Dec. 14, 2022