Choreo 2000 hits Rye theatre

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By Jessie Stones

The majority of the cast are single, and it’s not for the lack of appeal. There just hasn’t been enough time for meeting anyone outside the production.

Ryerson dance students have been busy preparing 26 pieces for the theatre school’s production called Choreographic Works 2000.

The show, entirely choreographed and performed by students, opens on Friday, March 10.

Second-year dance student Melissa Battio is happy that rehearsals, which have been taking place every night until 10 p.m. for the last month, are almost over.

Just an hour before their technical rehearsal starts, Battio and classmates Rebecca Hannam and Lindsay Roe sit on the floor in front of their dressing room at the RYerson Theatre in warm-up clothes, discussing the show and their choreography.

“My favourite thing about the show is the stage,” the petite Battio says, snuggling in her fuzzy green sweatshirt. “The finished product.”

Hannam, also in second-year dance, says the pieces performed by 41 students, range from modern to jazz. “The audition panel looked for really innovative stuff.”

About 50 pieces were auditioned in front of a panel of professors in January. The panel included renowned choreographer and producer Vicki St. Denys, whose works include the 1999 film Tin Cup.         

The show is not a mandatory part of students’ course work,  but their professors take their efforts into consideration.

Hannam says she has wanted to be a choreographer since she was a child. “I look at choreography more as a moving piece of art rather than a storyline,” she says.

“She’s an abstract thinker,” Battio adds. “Her work reminds me of Picasso.”

The two discuss the Cubist hand movements in one of Hannam’s pieces while Roe explains everyone’s creative process is different.
“My pieces deal with struggle and finding strength,” she says. “But sometimes you don’t know what you were trying to say until months after you finish a piece.”

Performances run Friday, March 10 to Saturday, March 18 at 8 pm. (Saturday matinees are at 2 p.m.) in the Ryerson theatre, 43 Gerrard St. E. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. For more information, call 979-5118.         

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