Over the weekend I attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts’ (in Manhattan) Graduation Dance Concert 2009. Every dancer displayed a high level of technical proficiency matched by great artistry and performance quality to create a fantastic culmination of their hard work over their high school years. They executed extremely difficult partnering smoothly, and showed their versatility as dancers as they switched between modern and ballet techniques with ease.
As I began to reflect on each piece, and their individual successes, one piece in particular caught my attention: Adam Barruch’s “The Quiet Room.” This piece’s success came from the dancers’ clearly directed energy matched with live music played by other students. Full of distinct shapes and well-crafted movement, it was however, the partnering that I found most interesting—and it was comprised of, thankfully, not just boy-girl pairings.
Nathan Trice’s piece “Their Speech Is Silver, Their Silence Is Gold” also featured women in a powerful way. A large group of powerful young women (with a student female vocalist) fiercely mastered the complicated and sudden gestures of Trice’s choreography with a strength and intensity that was unmatched the rest of the evening—definitely deserving the standing ovation they received.
What better way to show maturing girls that women are strong and deserving of respect, than through dance that presents women as impressive and commanding artists? There will always be places for the gentle princesses of ballet, but it was great to witness this art community where young women can really soar.
Nov. 29, 2001 07:00PM EST