The Montclair High School Dance Company will take the stage for their annual Spring Dance Concert, on Friday, February 27 at 8 pm, Saturday, February 28 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 1 at 2 pm. This year, over 45 very passionate and talented dancers will share their art through dance of different genres and styles.
Jules Bakshi, LaMar Baylor, Denise Brown, Ashley Carter, Emily Claman, Damani Pompey, Donna Scro and Shirlise McKinley Wiggins are the professional and highly acclaimed choreographers who have brought their thoughtful vision for each of the pieces. The dancers have to then interpret this vision and bring it to life. This creative synergy will be highly evident at this year’s concert. Mikayla Ullrich, a senior, has choreographed an empowering piece entitled “Free,” which she brings to life with her fellow seniors in the company.
Denise Brown, the artistic director, is a nurturing soul, yet expects a lot from the dancers to engage in their art to their fullest potential. This year’s concert is all about persevering through obstacles and losses. Denise chose Robert Frost’s quote “The Best Way Out is Always Through” to sum up this year’s theme. “We each have to face challenges that come our way and although we don’t realize it at the time we eventually rise like a phoenix. The process itself is important for self-growth,” she explained in a recent conversation.
This is Denise’s 8th year with the MHS Dance Company. She revels in the diversity of dance and musical styles which are showcased in the concert. She believes that it is very important to embrace classical, modern, and urban dance forms so that the show is truly inclusive. There are 11 dances ranging from modern, street jazz, and hip hop to a pointe piece, which is set to Middle Eastern instrumental music. The choice of music is critical to Denise because it adds on a dimension. She believes that the emotionality that the various art forms invoke within the dancers is reflected back by the experience of the audience. It is a true collaboration when the dancers connect to the audience and vice versa.
The 2015 Spring Dance Concert will be held in the Montclair High School Auditorium located at 141 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042. It will be held on Friday, February 27 at 8 pm, Saturday, February 28 at 8 pm and Sunday, March 1 at 2 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for children, students and seniors, available at the door.
Photo: Lisa Rosen