Claremont Colleges Ballet Company (CCBC) and the Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company (CCBDC) collaborated with several 5C musical groups on the inaugural Movement and Sound performance on Feb. 15.
The show featured a combination of dance and musical performances from Psyko Taiko, After School Specials, and Mood Swing.
“The idea for Movement and Sound was [CCBC’s] originally,” wrote Vivian Delchamps SC ’14, CCBC co-founder and co-president, in an email to TSL. “We pitched the idea to
the Scripps [College] Family Weekend organizers, and I told them about CCBDC so that ballroom
could also be included.”
Unlike other performances, Movement and Sound was unique because it provided an opportunity for students from different art disciplines to collaborate and perform together.
“Usually, musical groups and dance
companies have separate shows, so Movement and Sound was exciting because it
allowed the groups to get to know one another better,” Delchamps said.
Delchamps performed in three of the nine ballet pieces and one of three ballroom routines for Movement
and Sound, for which rehearsals and choreography work began last summer.
we wanted to perform a large excerpt from The Nutcracker this year, so we
started practicing at the beginning of first semester,” Delchamps said.
The costumes used for the show were nearly as important as the practice.
“We also wanted to have top-notch costumes, so our
costume designer, Rebekah Lim SC ’15, started sewing over winter break,” Delchamps said.
this may sound like a large ordeal, it is nothing out of the ordinary for two of the larger
dance companies at the Claremont Colleges. Dancers typically practice several
hours each week to polish choreography, arrange formations, and practice
expression and styling.
“A lot of work goes into these shows, but it’s a lot of
fun and gives us all a chance to get to know each other better,” Delchamps
Delchamps has been actively involved in the Claremont dance community, having been a member of CCBDC since fall 2011 and founding CCBC with Emily Kleeman PZ ’14 last year. She is also a current member of CCBDC’s tour team, which allows her to dance competitively.
“Dance is an excellent way of
becoming really involved with a community, and shows like Movement and Sound
allow artists of all kinds to share their enthusiasm and talent,” Delchamps explained.
And the enthusiasm shows: CCBDC alone boasts more than 130 dancers. Members have praised the opportunities and leadership provided by the company, including a donation from Pomona College trustee Michael Segal which brought Los Angeles professional Lorena Bravo to campus. Bravo specializes in smooth dance, an alternative style of standard ballroom dance.
“This semester, we’re lucky enough to have Lorena Bravo with us,” CCBDC member Lazaros Chalkias PO ’16 said. “She’s teaching a Gold Standard class, which is phenomenal. She’s also choreographing a few routines and pieces for performances, and they are going to have a heavy influence from American smooth.”
Although Chalkias did not perform
with CCBDC for Movement and Sound, he was in the audience.
audience member, it was a really strong introduction to the dance and music
community on campus, and was really nice that different groups came
together for one performance,” he said. “I really enjoyed the result of the
entire performance. What I found was a great space where students from across the 5Cs
can come together—students with very
different backgrounds, with very different life experiences, with very
different dance training, or very little dance training—on
something they all love. We have some great dancers out there, and
some great voices.”
CCBDC and CCBC will participate in the annual performance in Bridges Auditorium during Alumni Weekend alongside other artistic groups. This year’s theme will center around iconic Hollywood movies.