by Caitlin Meehan
As this whirlwind spring draws to a close, I'm looking back on a fantastic experience as a guest choreographer for Endicott's Guest Choreographers Showcase. If you think your spring has been busy, ask the dancers in the Repertory Dance Ensemble about packing 7 different pieces into one semester- and into one concert!
In addition to myself and Nikki, (the Coordinator of Dance at Endicott,) the dancers learned pieces by Katie Naame-Rosche and Sarah-Katrina. They both made 2 shorter pieces for the concert, whereas I choreographed one longer one. Adjunct professor and Monkeyhouse collaborator Mariah Steele and her husband Hans Rinderknecht also performed a duet from Quicksilver Dance's repertory. With the exception of Quicksilver's duet, the dancers were in every piece, which made Nikki's introductions of each one doubly necessary; for the audience to understand the work and for the dancers to quick-change!
Katie Naame-Rosche is a Point Park graduate and has performed with such fabulous companies as Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago and Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia. As an admirer of both companies, I wish I could have met her in person! Her choreography spoke for itself in her 2 pieces however; The Arrival and Marching On. The former was about the death of her father, and was poignant and beautiful at the same time. Marching On seemed especially appropriate for both the graduating seniors and the underclassmen, with its message of continuing to put one foot in front of the other, no matter what life dishes out. I found Katie's choreography to be both organic and innovative.
Sarah-Katrina's first piece, titled Conformity, seemed to be about just the opposite. She used input and collaboration with the dancers to create a very quirky and sound-oriented piece, which was interesting to watch- I kept wondering what would happen next! "Skooj"'s work tends to be contemporary, as she is the artistic director of Static Noyze Dance Company and teaches contemporary technique at Jeannette Neill and the Dance Complex. Her second piece, Escape from Malevolence, demonstrated contemporary vocabulary and her emotion-oriented style.
Nikki's choreography for the seniors, Finish Line, highlighted the strengths of the 6 dancers in her fresh, contemporary style. She truly managed to bring out the best in them. (I can't believe that they are all graduating, I remember helping judge dance team auditions when some of them were incoming freshmen!)
I was honored to be a part of this concert and work with Nikki's students. I'm excited to see what next year's Guest Choreography Showcase will bring!