The Spring Dance Concert is Here!

Arts  /  by Hunter Korn '19 and Sean Lee '19  /  April 29, 2017

Courtesy of The Lawrenceville School

Lawrenceville’s Spring Dance Concert (SDC), an annual showcase of dances both choreographed and performed by students, serves as one of Lawrenceville’s most cherished performance art displays. This year’s concert, which students performed in last night and will perform in again tonight at 8:00 PM, hosts a total of around 100 dancers, all of whom have dedicated hundreds of hours to rehearsing and re ning their craft. The Lawrence had the chance to hear from Cristina Elizalde ’18, President of the Spring Dance Concert, and Derrick Wilder, Chair of Performing Arts and Director of Spring Dance Concert, and learn about their involvement in this year’s SDC, as well as their perspectives on the effort that all the students have put into preparing for the performance.

Cristina Elizalde '18 - President of SDC

Hunter Korn ’19: How did you become involved in dance?

Cristina Elizalde ’18: My mom has built up a dance school for the past 20 years, so when I was three, my mom wanted me to start going to the school. I did all kinds of dance: ballet, tap, jazz, modern, so when I came to Lawrenceville, I decided to be a part of the dance team.

HK: How did your experience with dance change after attending Lawrenceville?

CE: It was definitely very different from dancing in the Philippines. It was less rigorous, but [...] the style was very different. I had never gone to school with the people I had danced with either, so that [has been] really fun. Also, I’ve never been part of a student-choreographed showcase, so it was really fun to choreograph my own dance rather than having someone else do it for me.

HK: What about this year’s SDC are you most excited about?

CE: I’m really excited for my dance because it was my first time choreographing to an upbeat song, and I’m dancing to Whitney Houston. The costumes are going to be really fun, and I hope it goes well.

HK: Could you elaborate more on your dance?

CE: It’s supposed to be very colorful and upbeat. It’s the opening of the entire show, so I think it’s aimed to get the audience excited for the rest of the show.

HK: Why do you think this year’s SDC stands out more so than other years?

CE: From my experience of being SDC rep, I can tell that all of the choreographers have been trying so hard. The theme, “It’s Your Turn,” really stands out because it implies that everyone gets a chance to be a part of the show, and I think that with everyone’s hard work it’s going to be a great show.

HK: What does being the head of SDC entail? Which moments have been more difficult? How has it been rewarding?

CE: The moments that have been difficult are the organization parts because sometimes it’s hard to reach out to so many people at once, but […] I know that after the show, I’m going to feel very rewarded for helping out in the process.

HK: What hopes do you have for the production this year?

CE: I just hope that the audience sees how hard everyone has worked [and] enjoys watching it as much as we’ve enjoyed being a part of it!

HK: What do you hope the audience gets out of the performances?

CE: I hope the audience sees how much we’ve tried [and] has fun watching it, because it feels very rewarding to have the audience enjoy what we’ve created. And I also hope that some members of the audience want to be part of SDC next year!

Derrick Wilder - Director of SDC

Sean Lee ’19: Can you explain to an outsider the rigor and process of becoming performance-ready?

Derrick Wilder: Students have been practicing and rehearsing since we returned from winter break. [...] Choreographers were selected just before winter break and then dancers had an audition following immediately so [...] students have been doing one hour a week at the minimum, two hours a week for some, and there are a couple who rehearse during class time.

SL: Are there any specific segments or dancers that we should look out for this year?

DW: I will never single out a choreographer. What’s wonderful about SDC is variety—that is always the specialty of what this is. This gives young choreographers an opportunity to put forth their work, and it gives students who have never had an opportunity to be on stage to try this once.

SL: Other than dance rehearsals, how else have students contributed to SDC?

DW: It takes several weeks to put down the dance floor—it takes a couple students to do that. It takes several weeks to mount the lights in the air, and to get them focused—that’s what we’re working on now. So in these [past few] rehearsals, [it has been] all about the technicians getting the light cues down.Things that have to fly out. It’s all about the wardrobe assistants as well, who are now making sure that the dancers are in their proper costumes. [And for] the makeup artists, this is their time. That’s the preparation that is now going into this.

SL: Any final remarks that you would like to make on this year’s SDC?

DW: SDC for me has always been, and continues to be, this ideal of students having the opportunity to step into the world that I’ve lived, and that is a part of me through and through. So at this moment all I really want is for everyone to have fun, to have that moment under the lights.