Published Nov. 7, 2023
BY CASSIDY SCHEID
Turning the choreographing over to the students, “A Love Letter to Dance,” performing Nov. 16 and 17 at Carmel High School, is a production composed of 18 dances in styles from contemporary to retro, and the dance program has been preparing since the beginning school year, taking class time to compose, audition and rehearse.
Dance program instructor Kristine Tarozzi teaches students technical skills and has led them through the process of choreography to create a show filled with various dance styles, costumes and music.
“An overarching theme is strength, working together, taking risks and just the joy of dance,” Tarrozzi explains.
Tarozzi allows students to take the lead when costuming for their dances and emphasizes the importance of reducing, reusing, recycling and repurposing to lessen waste. This means incorporating everyday elements and past pieces to minimize waste while still creating innovative costumes.
Dance styles being showcased include jazz, contemporary, acrobatic, lyrical, retro, ballet, modern and tap, and this wide variety of styles along with the assortment of music choices to fit each creates a compelling, diverse show.
“We always try to have something that surprises the audience that we’ve never done before,” Tarrozi explains. “I call that avant-garde, which is just something different.”
Students in the Dance IV Honors class have the opportunity to choreograph an 8- to 12-minute capstone piece, allowing students with a passion for dance to fully direct a dance for their peers from start to finish.
Junior Ava Kadosh, a talented dancer of over 13 years, is choreographing a capstone inspired by her travels alone in Spain, and the theme of the piece is to show appreciation for different cultures and how traveling can alter one’s perspective. The dance is contemporary in style and includes elements influenced by flamenco, a style originating in Spain.
Senior Kate Bunch has been a part of the dance program since freshman year and is choreographing a sassy jazz piece for the advanced dance class to “Confident” by Demi Lovato.
“It’s about being confident and really comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid to leave it all on the dance floor,” Bunch says.
Sophomore Julius Dutta has been dancing since he was 3, but it’s his first year in the CHS dance program. He is choreographing a tap number for himself and three other students to “Hit the Road Jack” by Pentatonix.
The show’s finale is a retro-style dance to “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley, choreographed by Kadosh, Bunch and sophomore Elika Dwelle, a Dance IV student, bringing together the entire dance troupe of around 40 students, giving the show a big finish.
“A Love Letter to Dance” is performing in the CHS theater and tickets can be purchased at the door or online at CarmelHigh.org for $15 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children under 10.