Every spring, the student club LC Dance Company hosts Dance Y, a concert consisting of several dance pieces performed in succession. In contrast to Dance X, which is run by the theatre department, Dance Y is entirely student-produced. It features a bill of student-choreographed pieces performed by student dancers.
Gila Winefeld ’23 is the co-president of the LC Dance Company. Winefeld was a choreographer for Dance X this past fall and performed as part of Dance Y this past spring before transitioning into the role of co-President. Winefeld appreciates Dance Y for its inclusivity.
“(Dance Y) ends up being a more diverse pool of dancers with different experience levels,” Winefeld said. “Everyone brings whatever they have experience with and the kinds of dance they’re interested in.”
Arielle Scena-Shifrin ’21 and Sunny Broadhead ’22 are co-choreographing one of the pieces this year. Broadhead was scheduled to choreograph for Dance Y last year before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year is Scena-Shifrin’s first and last chance to participate in Dance Y after transferring to LC last fall. The two choreographers are using their piece to deviate from the norm, and tap into what they feel are their personal strengths.
“I’ve noticed that people are very into ballet contemporary at LC,” Scena-Shifrin said. “But I like jazz and Fosse and burlesque. So I wanted to do a Fosseinspired burlesque piece for myself and others.”
While the event would usually be staged in the Agnes Flanagan Chapel, it has been forced to go fully virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The format will look similar to what it’s been in previous years in terms of like, it being a few distinct pieces and different styles,” Winefeld said. “But it’ll be these short dance films, essentially.”
The Dance Company is partnering with three cinematographers to produce the show: Makana Leboy ’21 and two professional cinematographers from the Portland area.
This performance format is causing mixed feelings among choreographers.
“I have a love-hate relationship with film,” Scena-Shifrin said. “I like the idea of being able to do multiple takes, but on the other hand, you don’t get the same feeling as you do when you’re performing for a live audience.”
The show will consist of six pieces, each one performed by three to five dancers. Though rehearsals have yet to begin, Dance Y does have a rough timeline for when their show will be completed.
“We’re planning to stream the pieces … on YouTube stream or something for the college by mid-April,” Winefeld said.
When rehearsals begin within the next few weeks, they will most likely be held outside with dancers wearing masks and standing in tapedoff boxes on the ground to maintain social distancing. The final filmed performance will likely be held with the same restrictions.
Choreographers each cast dancers for their own piece. Prospective dancers each submitted an audition video, and all of the choreographers watched the videos and met to decide who belonged where.
“For me, I was really looking at confidence and comfortableness within their own body and movements,” Broadhead said. “It’s less about them getting everything right, and more about how willing they were to try.”
Some of the choreographers are dancing in one or more of the pieces, and have found some major differences in what is required of them.
“When I’m a choreographer, my brain is really focused less on what can I do and more about what can I have other people do that brings the mental image in my brain to life,” Broadhead said. “Versus when I’m a dancer, I’m really focused on how can I embody this thing that the choreographer wants to the best of my ability.”
For more information on the LC Dance Company and for an eventual link to the Dance Y stream follow them on Instagram @Lc_dancecompany.