The beats pound throughout the studio, where the mirror has been moved to the opposite wall.
This is important to note, because the Cangelosi Dance Studio now officially has a lobby and a second studio. And these new additions required moving the mirror in the original studio to the opposite wall.
This posed a problem at first, because dancers in the Cangelosi Dance Project’s professional company had to reset left and right in their brains when facing the opposite direction.
“They felt like they were dancing backwards,” Kris Cangelosi said.
She couldn’t help but laugh. If rehearsal on this particular Sunday afternoon was any indication, the dancers have long gotten over it and are ready to perform the four pieces in their upcoming show October Fest.
The dance concert will be the first in the company’s 2012-13 season. It will be performed in the Manship Theatre’s Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts.
“This will be the first time this theater will be used for a dance performance,” Cangelosi said. “It’s usually used for music performances, but this will be interesting, because we’ll use the center floor as our stage, and the audience will be sitting around us. They’ll be able to see the choreography from all sides.”
Cangelosi is the company’s founder, artistic director and choreographer. She’s choreographed four pieces for this concert, two that portray strength in unity and two that explore beauty within.
The company has been working on the unity pieces on Fridays and the introspective pieces on Sundays. Well, except for this Sunday afternoon.
The music was loud, and the beats pounded through the studio as dancers took concise, deliberate steps toward the mirror.
Movements require great muscle control. They also require trust.
Hannah Wilson knows this. At one point, she partnered with Le’Brian Patrick, who cradled Wilson’s head in his hands while the core of Wilson’s body was parallel to the floor.
Wilson’s feet inched forward while Patrick carefully kept her in balance.
“But it’s more muscle strength on Hannah’s part than it is mine,” Patrick said.
“Most of the strength in that move is in my core,” Wilson said.
But Wilson still must put her faith in Patrick to keep her balanced while she performs this move.
“It’s a matter of trust among all of the dancers,” Cangelosi said. “These pieces require a lot of physical strength.”
“The other two pieces are softer, but they require a lot of work, too,” company member Marianne Alford said. “They’re still physical.”
Rehearsal doesn’t stop when dancers leave the studio. Each dancer knows his or her trouble spots and practices them at home.
“Miss Kris does a good job in repeating segments at practice, but we practice at home every day,” company member Aaron Lafitte said. “That way, we remember it when we put it all together.”
And there’s a lot to remember. The choreography for this concert requires almost all of the dancers to be on stage at once. And though two of the pieces explore strength in unity, dancers don’t necessarily move in unison.
Movements flow into other movements. Some dancers perform completely different moves than others, but they all come together in the end.
Still, it’s the journey to that conclusion that’s most important here, a journey that requires strength and trust. And beauty within.
- CAST: Courtney David, Jessica Kennedy, Millenique Brown, Hannah Wilson, Nicole Judson, Ashley Jeanette McCullough, Teresa Fardella, Maria McCain, Marianne Alford, Aaron Lafitte, Chandler Beaman, Sophie Davis, Jamie Gaudet and Le’Brian Patrick
- DIRECTOR: Kris Cangelosi