[E]very year the Ryerson Theatre School presents Choreographic Works, a showcase consisting of several different dance styles and original works created and performed by students from theatre’s dance program. This year, Choreographic Works presented two alternate shows, with performances running five minutes in length. I attended the March 13th performance which consisted of 26 performances performed by first to fourth-year students. The show was sold out.
Produced by Ryerson faculty member and former artistic director of Toronto Dance Theatre, Kenny Pearl, Choreographic Works is the largest dance production of student works that is put on by the Theatre School. In January, students auditioned their own original pieces to be chosen for the production. The chosen student-choreographers selected their own dancers, created their own costumes and scheduled all rehearsals on their own time. Lighting and music was all carefully selected and created by the student-choreographers themselves with the help of a group of student-volunteers from the Performance Production Program.
People wait for this show and look forward to it with excitement. As I waited for the Ryerson Theatre to open, I watched several people approach the box office asking for tickets for that night’s show, but were turned away as all the tickets had been claimed.
The show was performed behind the main stage of the Ryerson Theatre. The seating was quite close to the stage and performances, which I thought was a good choice. This way, audience members could develop a personal connection with the dancers and performances.
During the semester I find that I’m so busy with deadlines and assignments that I begin to forget about the things in life which I once enjoyed doing. There was a time before university when I embraced dance and theatre. Dance was a healthy hobby that I took part in almost every day after school. While I was dancing, every stress, every worry that I had on my mind earlier that day would disappear and all that I could think about was dance. Choreographic Works reminded me of that feeling and how powerful the art of dance can be to people. I forgot about my review and just sat back and was incredibly impressed and moved by the performances given.
There are no lines spoken, just raw emotion and intense amounts of human strength. Choreographic Works is a moving display of how dedicated and athletically strong the students in the dance program at Ryerson truly are. These young adults live and breathe dance. Through the performances, they are able to show everyone just how far they are willing to go in order to make themselves the best that they can possibly be. Just the sounds that they made– their heavy panting– showed how difficult their routines were. But they continued on and produced such an amazing spectacle. Maybe I was just emotional that night, but each of the performances got some sort of emotional reaction out of me. Whether it was crying, laughing, or blushing, I enjoyed each performance wholeheartedly. Every student involved with the production this year should be thoroughly proud of themselves.