Dance students present “York Dances: Era of Oddities “

(Courtesy of Alexa Narezny)

From March 26–28, dance students will present their choreographic explorations in York Dances: Era of Oddities.

Irene Leung, a third-year dance student, shares that her contemporary ballet piece titled 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙮z̶̶o̶̶n̶̶e̶ explores the spaces between the black and the white, the linear and the non-linear, and is an experimentation of shapes and fluidity.

“It’s definitely exciting to finally choreograph my own piece after dancing in York Dances and Dance Innovations for the past few years,” says Leung. “Working with dancers is definitely very inspiring, especially when I see how much talent there is in the department. The majority of the dancers in my piece are first-year students, so they are completely new to me, and it’s wonderful getting to know the newbies in this family. It gives me so much hope and excitement for the future of the dance department.”

Debuting the work of 29 dance majors, this performance explores the ways in which passionate art-making can foster inclusive and positive environments, from both the creation to the production of the show.

Grace Sokolow, a fourth-year dance and theatre double major, shares that their piece, Disco Mama, is inspired by their experiences in clubs, raves, and social dance cultures.Their piece also challenges the negative rhetoric surrounding these spaces.

“This work takes risks in trying to support something that is often overshadowed by negativity and fear,” explains Sokolow. “Dancing, connecting with each other, having fun and being social are all essential parts of being human.

“My experience has been wonderful. I love my cast and collaborators as well as my course director. I feel as though my dancers have trusted me in this process and are committed to this vision. Syreeta Hector, our course director, has been very supportive of my work and continuously offers feedback, support, and assistance with research,” adds Sokolow.

While the dancers share that they are in support of CUPE 3903, Leung expresses that the uncertainty of the strike is “definitely nerve-wracking.”

“We are all fighting our hardest to have our shows as scheduled and get our piece shown and dancers moving! The lack of technique classes is definitely something hard to get used to, but I was able to gather my dancers for more rehearsals and explore different ideas while getting closer with each other,” adds Leung.

The performance is separated into two sections, with series A beginning at 7 p.m. and series B beginning at 8:30 p.m. To learn more about York Dances: Era of Oddities and to get tickets, click here.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor

Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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