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Phipps Dance Company performs March 20, 21

The Phipps Dance Company celebrates its tenth season on March 20 and 21, at The Phipps Center for the Arts. Front from left, Emerson Hatch, Lauren Lansfeldt, Chloe Hawksford, Taylor Casey, and Rachel Werner; middle, Laren Chang of Afton, Natalie Duncan, Hana Saifullah, Kaylie Brand, Jade Kromer of Stillwater, Lainey Hanson of Bayport; back, Justine Ploeger, Isabella Zontelli, Stephanie Stoerzinger. All are from Hudson unless indicated. (Submitted photo)

The Phipps Dance Company, a non-competitive performing company led by director Christina Leines and associate director Stephanie Campbell, celebrates its tenth season with showcase performances on Friday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 21 at 2 p.m. at The Phipps Center for the Arts.

The 2014-15 company is comprised of 14 auditioned dancers who range in age from 13 to 18 years old. The company consists of Kaylie Brand of Hudson, Laren Chang of Afton, Natalie Duncan of Hudson, Lainey Hanson of Bayport, Chloe Hawksford of Hudson, Jade Kromer of Stillwater, Lauren Lansfeldt, Justine Ploeger, Hana Saifullah, Stephanie Stoerzinger, Rachel Werner and Isabella Zontelli, all of Hudson. The apprentices are Taylor Casey and Emmy Hatch, both of Hudson.

The performances will feature a variety of styles, including musical theater, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary ballet. Guest choreographers are Emily Broeker, Matthew Keefe, Mackenzie Lewis, Jason Noer, and Kyra Scanlan.   

“No One Just Is,” choreographed by Campbell, explores the emotional journey everyone faces of feeling lonely, overwhelmed, and perhaps depressed. With a cast of five dancers in light gray tutus, the subtle, flowing modern movement is pulled along by the music of Zola.

Broeker’s piece, “Rhythm Remix,” is a high-energy jazz piece with Latin and African influence. She enthuses, “Working with The Phipps Company dancers has been amazing. They threw themselves into the movement, embodied the music, and worked together as a cohesive ensemble.”

Keefe’s contemporary ballet piece “Fountains and Tramways” weaves classical ballet technique with upbeat, fluid, contemporary movement to visually guide the audience along on its water journey. He explains, “In this dance we explored different qualities and images associated with water. It was a great pleasure to work with the dancers, we had fun.” 

Leines’ piece features the entire company dancing to selections from the rock musical “Hair.” 

She comments, “I am so proud of how the dancers have embraced this piece. Their energy is palpable and infectious and will have you smiling, clapping, and maybe even humming along to these memorable songs.”

Noer’s “Historhythm” takes the dancers and audience on a journey through hip-hop history, music, and movement. This non-linear trek through/around time explores toprocking, new jack swing, breaking, rocking, and house dance. He explains, “We did more than dance for this piece - we discussed the history of hip-hop culture, social issues connected to hip-hop, and misconceptions of the culture.”

Scanlan’s piece, “Decidedly Me,” is about how individuals deal with their insecurities and feelings of inadequacy. “With this piece, I wanted to explore the question, ‘How much power do you give to others and their perception of you?’ The movement and emotion of the dancers reflects the ways people can wear each other down and/or build each other up. Ultimately, though, it is oneself who must decide to celebrate strengths, embrace weaknesses, and be his/her own self-advocate,” she states.

The Phipps Junior Dance Company, led by Lewis and now in its second season, will also perform.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students. Reservations may be made by contacting The Phipps ticket office at (715) 386-8409 or online at www.ThePhipps.org.  

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