Portola Pilot

‘Flannel and Frost’ Brings the Heat in Annual Winter Dance Concert

Helena Hu, Centerspread Editor

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The crowd’s attention was on the stage as bright spotlights illuminated the silhouette of dancers, emphasizing each beat. At the end of each piece, loud applause echoed around the theater.

Dance 2, Dance 3 and Dance Company participated in the first winter dance concert, “Flannel and Frost,” on Dec. 7-8 at 7 p.m. This concert offered the opportunity for students to bring their creative visions to life by choreographing their own routines.

“Flannel and Frost” featured mostly advanced dancers, but there were additional performances from the K-pop and C-Pop club, Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s Dance Exploration class and the Junior Bulldogs, kindergarteners to sixth graders who attended the Bulldog Dance Clinic on Nov. 3. Friday’s show featured the fourth to sixth graders while Saturday’s show featured the kindergarten to third graders.

“Performing with the Junior Bulldogs was really difficult but also a lot of fun because they weren’t the most attentive learners, but they tried really hard and put their all into their performance, which is all that we can really ask for,” Dance Company member and sophomore Ashley Presnell said.

Similar to last year’s inaugural spring concert, there were special acts choreographed outside of class by students. However, this concert also invited students to choreograph full pieces during class time. Student choreographers included sophomore Joanna Fan and junior Nandini Goyal from Dance 3 as well as junior Briana Bey and freshmen Haruka Noda and Sofia Topete from Dance Company.

“I definitely wanted to empower my students to make more decisions on their own, select more of their own costumes and create more of their own pieces, rather than guiding them through my decisions,” dance director Samantha Gardner said. “I wanted them to be able to have a little more freedom and have more ownership.”

The dance concert brought a variety of styles, ranging from hip-hop to contemporary. Goyal’s piece, “Girls in Bollywood”, brought Bollywood dance to the stage, a new style for many dancers.

“There were some things I had to take into consideration; these dancers are new to the form of Bollywood dance, and I cannot make super complex moves that would be hard for them to do,” Goyal said. “At the same time, it has to look intricate for the audience, so that’s when the choreography process would take longer for me to come up with moves that would fit right with the dancers.”

Although titled “Flannel and Frost,” the theme serves more of a purpose for the decoration and atmosphere, as no dances were performed to holiday music. According to Gardner, the winter dance concert will continue to be holiday-based, while the spring dance concert will take an abstract approach. The second annual spring dance concert is expected to occur April 25-27.

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‘Flannel and Frost’ Brings the Heat in Annual Winter Dance Concert