NCCU dance company show themed around love
Hoping to add a twist to the typical dance recital, the 11 members of the Clear Onyx Dance Company at N.C. Central University have fused their passions for choreographing, dancing and performing to create an engaging spring concert all based on one human emotion: love.
Although the team initially wanted to dance a simple love story, it expanded the idea when the team members realized the emotional potential of a show composed of different, individual pieces that, when taken as a whole, capture the universality of love and its positive and negative effects on people of all ages, Clear Onyx member and NCCU student Kimberly Hall said.
The show, titled “Textures of Love,” will consist of routines that speak to the idea of love as an inescapable force in peoples’ lives. The dancers will open the show with routines that show the love children have for life. From there, the show’s tone will shift as the dancers perform numbers that were crafted to represent the love between two individuals and the ups and downs that accompany human relationships.
By choreographing each routine to represent different types and levels of love, the members of the Clear Onyx Dance Company hope to form a connection with and engage the audience.
Since coming up with and expanding the show’s theme in January, the dancers, with the help of their director, Beverly Allen, have been fervently choreographing, teaching, learning and practicing to make their vision a reality.
With no team captain, each dancer on the team has contributed choreography that reflects her personal style and training background.
Hall credits the open environment that provides each member of Clear Onyx the opportunity to be involved in the show’s planning process for Textures Of Love’s wide variety of routines, which will include Bollywood, lyrical, jazz and contemporary numbers.
Not only does Clear Onyx encourage each member to be involved in the chorography and planning processes, but it also provides opportunities for each dancer to lead warm-ups, stretching and teaching.
“We all come together and take turns,” Hall said. “We work pretty well together, sorting out any problems that may arise.”
Nine of the 11 members on the team are part of NCCU’s dance concentration, which was added two years ago when the Department of Theatre became the Department of Theatre and Dance.
The concentration offers two new majors, dance teacher education, an interdisciplinary major that combines science, education and dance classes to prepare students to teach dance at the K-12 level, and dance performance, a major that focuses on refining dancer’s skills and preparing them to perform and compete at the professional level through a mixture of both theatre and dance classes.
It was through the addition of these two new majors that Clear Onyx, which will hold its annual concert on Sunday at NCCU, was formed.
Hall said that being a dance major and a member of Clear Onyx is essential to her growth as a dancer because the work she does in class and the work she does in practice complement and reinforce one another.
Being able to apply what they learned in class to Clear Onyx practices and getting extra practice time outside of their classes are the key factors that allow the members of Clear Onyx to grow as dancers and put on a successful show, Hall said.