GPS students are ready to launch a series of upcoming spring concerts, plays, and a musical. First on the calendar is the Terpsichord Spring Concert titled Chiaroscuro, defined as an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on something.
“The creativity and passion of our youth is the future of our culture,” says Terpsichord concert director Cathie Ault Kasch ’72. "And this performance showcases those very things. There is a wide variety of movement, message, and music represented in this concert." Ms. Kasch, GPS Performing Arts coordinator, is assisted by her associate director, Laurel Moore Zahrobsky ’90, who was also a student of Ms. Kasch’s her junior and senior years at GPS.
Terpsichord’s contemporary dance pieces feature student and guest choreographers. This year the dancers received instruction from Lawrence Jackson, an assistant professor of dance at the University of Alabama, and Daniel Gwirtzman. Mr. Gwirtzman is the artistic director of his eponymous New York City-based dance company and guest teaches at many colleges and universities. “He challenges our dancers to contour their bodies to their limits and feel the rhythm of the music,” Ms. Kasch says.
The premiere of Storm, commissioned by GPS, was originally developed in the summer of 2017 for the Joffrey Ballet School Summer Intensive (NYC), where it premiered as a two-minute dance at Symphony Space for a cast of 12. Terpsichord allowed Mr. Gwirtzman the opportunity to expand the piece in scope.
The jazz dance, choreographed by Mr. Jackson, is performed to the music of Ricky La Nina, and Mr. Jackson’s movement incorporates classical jazz dance as well as African. “This choreographically demanding piece has an energy that is electric,” Ms. Zahrobsky says. “The audience will love watching the dancers move in very fast and intricate ways to a fun and upbeat rhythm.”
Other featured dance pieces include Inesperado, set to the song “Havana” by Camila Cabello and choreographed by Tatiana Poggi ’18. Inesperado is influenced by dance styles such as bachata, flamenco, and salsa and is underscored throughout by a bit of sass and flare reflected by jazz, Ms. Poggi’s personal style.
Other dance pieces include A Walk In Empathy, set to music by electronic duo ODESZA, featuring the sophomore class, which builds on the idea of “walking a mile in another person’s shoes.” The junior class piece, Generation Z, features the music of Alicia Keys, David Guetta (ft. Usher), Sia, and Rihanna mixed by one of the dancers, Maya Pastusick ’20. The piece pays homage to their generation and, through the use of pop hits, they have created corresponding movements that include both modern and jazz elements.
For their last hurrah, the senior dancers wanted to highlight both their unity as a class and their individuality as dancers. Set to “Afterglow,” the senior piece Two Zero One Eight—unique in its emotional depth—allowed the group to explore and exercise its familiarity with each other, as many in the class were friends long before getting to dance together in Terpsichord.
Many more pieces are included in the Terpsichord Spring Concert, presented March 2 and 3, at 7 p.m. in GPS Frierson Theatre. Admission is free and open to the public.