After the entire dance company graced the stage in blue and tan dresses and flamboyantly completed the opening number, a spotlight directed the audience’s attention to a black wall on the right side of the stage. Eight dancers in white leotards filed out on stage with paint palettes in hand. In a piece entitled Blue Ride Kandinsky, the performers painted a variation of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky’s famous abstract artwork with only primary colors. In the background, the audience heard Kandinsky’s voice describing the revolution occurring within the art community and the importance of abstract art and representational imagery.
The 42nd Annual Evening of Dance, which took place on Feb. 5 and 6, was entitled The Green Table and Other Stories, modeled after German choreographer Kurt Jooss’s ballet. Dance Dimension’s powerful portrayal of The Green Table was choreographed by artistic director Mpambo Wina, student choreographers, which included both juniors and seniors, and guest choreographer Laura Iacuessa, who used to work in the Marlborough Performing Arts Department and is a close friend of Wina’s. Although the original The Green Table has a more ominous ending, Wina decided to end the performance with a more hopeful take on Jooss’s dismal ballet.
The Green Table was conceived during the 1930s just as Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany and while Europe was trying to recover from World War I. Jooss felt that another world war was inevitable and as a result his dances were centered around the idea of death – the new victims of death, the old victims, and the abandoned wives and family members who struggled as a result of death.
Ellie ’16 explained what it was like to dance in a ballet that heavily relied on emotion.
“I thought the theme really made us learn how to work with the different emotions of each piece and it was something different from the flowery very classical pieces you usually see,” Ellie said.
Dance Dimensions’s rendition of The Green Table was also special in that it caught the attention of a particular audience member, Edward Goldman, the host of KCRW’s weekly arts review, who was invited to the performance by Wina. He was so captivated by the performance that he wrote a piece praising the dancers and Wina for allowing the audience to experience a performance filled with culture.
Tiffany ’16 described how she felt when she learned that an audience member took the time to write about the Dance Dimensions performance that they had been working on since September.
“It was so exciting to see that all of our hard work was recognized by one of our audience members on such a public platform,” Tiffany said.
In addition to the excitement the company shared after their performance, Brooks enthusiastically explained how working with girls from different grades since September allowed her to make many new friends on campus outside of the ones she already had.
“It was really nice to get to know other girls on campus because normally I get to know other girls on campus through sports but it was a really a privilege to work on something with these girls that was so special to Ms. Wina and the Marlborough community,” Sydney said.
At the end of the last performance, seniors were honored for their 3 years of dedication to the company. As they stood on the Caswell stage for the last time, tears were shed as Wina hugged the oldest dancers and recognized them by calling their names in front of the audience. In return, the dancers bid goodbye to Wina with a bouquet of flowers from the entire company.