Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Juilliard Impresses

Hey DANZ Nation,

Yesterday I had the awesome chance to see the Juilliard Student Showcase at Lincoln Center… and let me tell you, it was A-MAAAZZ-ING!!!!!! First of all, the greatest thing about bein’ a dancer in NYC is how spontaneous your days turn out to be! I had no plans of going to the show until a friend of mine called me up w/two free tix an hour beforehand! I was pumped!

On the way to the theatre, I was thinking, “Yeah, I know it’s Juilliard, but how good could these dancers be? They can’t be much different than the throngs of dancers I see every day at Steps and Broadway Dance Center.” But I’m telling you, Julliard is the number one dance college in the nation for a REASON. It was truly the best display of dancers/choreography I’ve seen in a LONG time. We saw four pieces, showcasing each class from freshmen to seniors.

The first piece had my brain on overload, about 25 people on stage, every single one fiercer than the next! Honestly, I didn’t know where to look, it was an explosion of FIERCENESS! Extensions, style, technique, lines, quirky choreography, partnering… sensory overload!!!! Not to mention, there was a live jazz band on stage! The piece finished and I literally said “That was the sickest thing I have ever seen.” Someone turned around and quipped, “Just wait, that was only the FRESHMAN class.” I was stunned, and I don’t get stunned easily!

The three following pieces were equally breathtaking, all being completely unique from each other in concept/costuming. However they all had one common thread – insane ballet and contemporary technique. My advice to anyone dreaming of attending Juilliard: Get your butt in ballet, modern, and contemporary classes until you can’t take it anymore!!!!! The technique was just insane. You can’t dance like these people on talent alone- even if you have the “it” factor. Your body needs to be trained, trained, trained, and MORE trained.

To get specific, the sophomores did a piece to Latin guitar music using tons of floorwork and moving mirrors. The juniors danced the entire thing to the music of two live accordionists! (I hope accordionists is a word….) So COOL. What was even cooler, the juniors got to speak into a microphone throughout the piece which really pulled the story together… and showed off their acting chops! The partnering in that piece was off the chain. I’ve never even seen partnering so beautiful ANYWHERE – it seemed to defy the laws of physics! Finally, the seniors came out lookin’ snazzy in huge go-go inspired long wigs for the girls, and tuxes for the guys. Throughout the very wild piece propelled by a steady drum beat, dancers were shedding clothes down to their scivvies onstage in what looked like an onstage dressing room! Eye candy is an understatement for some of those hot bods!

At curtain call, all the dancers came out for a bow and I had to hand it to them, they were no joke. They are here to conquer the world of dance and I’m excited about where dance is going! After talking to a few students, I learned that many came from small studios or arts high schools. If this is you, you have a shot at dancing here. TRAIN those bodies, learn all you can, and audition. Good things come to those who show up to get them!!

iDANZ Critix Corner
Author: Sheena DiMateo
Dance Review: Juilliard Dance Department
Venue: Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center
Performance: Sunday, December, 14, 2008

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