Choreographers Emerge into Spotlight

“The piece is truly a quartet. [It] is a lot about exploration and inquiry...there is sort of an “extra-terrestrial” quality about the dancers throughout the piece in the sense that they are trying to 'figure out' an unfamiliar space,” Irineo C. Cabreros ‘13 says. Cabreros is one of the three choreographer groups whose works will be featured this Thursday and Friday in the Harvard Dance Center. The Emerging Choreographers Showing will exhibit the work of ten student choreographers this Thursday and Friday in the Harvard Dance Center. Cabreros, Hazel A. Lever ‘13, and The Lone Window Project, a group of eight students, have been selected as the spring 2013 choreographers.

“It’s a new initiative that we started in...September 2012,” says Jill Johnson, Office for the Arts dance director. The Emerging Choreographers Initiative is an OFA Dance Program residency opportunity for student choreographers who wish to improve their skills through a mentorship with professional choreographers. Each group of choreographers works with all three mentors: Johnson, and artists-in-residence Andrea Miller and Pontus Lidberg.

“Each group has its own individual voice and very distinct ideas,” Johnson says. “So it’s just leading the choreographers [from] where they are, and add[ing] as many diverse ideas to their progress. It’s not just one voice that they consult with, but the students are rather mentored by many different voices.”

The resulting choreographies have various stylistic influences, but all have a touch of each group’s unique academic experiences. “It’s an amalgam of all of their experiences being channeled into these works,” says Johnson. “For example, it could be how they saw their concentrations meet with what they were doing in dance courses.” As an example, Johnson explained that Cabreros is a double concentrator who studies music at the New England Conservatory and physics and mathematics at Harvard. “I think his process is very much informed by his studies in music and science. Science, music, and dance have a lot in common, even in terms of generating material to render something,” Johnson says.

Johnson says she enjoyed interacting with students in the creative process. “For me, it’s been so wonderful to see each unique vision and to be able to find more growth in the students and what they’re developing, and then just watch them shine.”