Performers in rehearsal Tuesday night. Choreographic Works opens to the public on March 7. PHOTO: ALEXA PHILLIPS

Dance your heart out

In Arts & Life /

By Lara Onayak    

Dancers, choreographers and many more are prepared to perform and showcase at the annual Choreographic Works, the largest dance production of student work staged at the Ryerson Theatre School.

Produced by Ryerson faculty member and former artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre Kenny Pearl, Choreographic Works will feature many theatre students performing as dancers and choreographers as well as behind the scenes in wardrobe and technical productions.

“It is most rewarding to see the growth in the dancers as they work together as a community,” said Pearl. “Their dances evolve, their confidence grows and their dancing becomes richer.“

Director of the dance program, Vicki St Denys, said this production is presented every year during this time frame and has grown substantially over the years.

“Choreographic Works is an exciting production, because it involves students from both the dance program and production program working very closely together in order to make the show happen,” she said.

Rehearsals for Choreographic Works, which gives students experience outside of the classroom, began in the fall and auditions were held in mid-January. Over 110 students auditioned with their dance pieces, and 43 were accepted for the performance.

The performance will be offered in two programs — one will run on weekdays from March 7th to 15th at 8 p.m., while matinee shows will run on March 8th and 15th at 2 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre.

“It feels incredible to be involved in such a well-known and respected show as Choreographic Works,” said Miranda Meijer, a third-year dance student. “So many Ryerson dancers have gone on to dance and choreograph professionally.”

Andreane Christiansen, a second-year production student, will have the opportunity to stage manage her first performance.

“Myself and the other stage manager [have] probably worked about 10-20 hours a week,” said Christiansen. “We spend most of the day doing paperwork and prepping.”

Because of the wide range of the show, many people from all factions of the theatre school are involved, said Meijer.

“So many elements are presented in this show,” said Meijer. “Each one is so unique and the small and large group pieces become that much more powerful when contrasted with solo numbers.”

Joshua Doig, a third-year performance dance student, said he felt extremely honored to be dancing and choreographing for this performance.

“As a choreographer it is my responsibility to submit audio and costumes and meet with our lighting designer to create a lighting plot that best suits our piece,” he said. “There are a variety of styles and emotions, and it is our hope that the audience leaves having sampled a little something from all facets of dance.”

General admission tickets are $18, $14 for students and seniors and $12 for groups of 8 or more.

“I believe there is great satisfaction in knowing you gave yourself a huge challenge, and that, in the limited time available, you were able to rise to that challenge,” said Pearl.

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