Lisser Theater was completely filled with people. Backstage, performers prepared to awe the crowd. For months these dancers had been working numerous hours to practice and put together the dance concert. From choreography to filming and finding music, everything they had put together was ready to be showcased.
The Mills College Senior Dance Concert, T H R E A D was held Apr. 2 at 8 PM. Seniors Ashley Yee, Maya Haines, April Melendez, Alix Marcus and Aiano Nakagawa put together a concert filled with dancing, films, instruments, songs and lights.
According to Resident Director Shinichi Iova-Koga, the students have been working on the concert since December 2014. The seniors asked other dancers and students they knew to perform and be part of the show as performers and background support.
“The seniors had a vision,” Iova-Koga said. “They worked together and created a brainstorm. I am pleased with the level they were able to achieve with the technology and the music, you don’t normally see that background support.”
As the lights faded to black, there was a chair on the right side of the stage. Suddenly, a light flashed onto it; three bodies emerged from waiting in the shadows, and the show began.
There were five different acts, which threaded together continuously, just as the name of the concert suggests.
The music ranged in different tones. Every body movement flowed into another.
“It’s interesting,” Haines, one of the five seniors in the show, said. “Usually, when I perform, I think about the people sitting in the audience, but last night, I was focused on me, my dance, my dancers, my cohort and the cast. I felt very present.”
Some pieces included visual projection in addition to dance. Some projections were faces of the different performers. Other projections were rain drops being focused in and out and slow-moving images of people stretching their legs, moving their arms and swinging their feet blankets the stage and the dancers.
During curtain call, each group of performers came together to do one last move from their piece. Once everyone had taken their place in the last spotlight, they all danced together. Yee and Haines hugged each other before everyone ran back behind the curtain.
“I like the way one piece followed into another,” audience member Avril Fowler said. “Curtain call was great to see how one work came together by so many factions.”
The audience was blown away by the production as a whole besides just the dancers.
“They were all fantastic artists,” audience member Dominique Mask said. ” The technical precision it takes to be a Mills dancer is unbelievable. I’m glad I came to witness the beauty of Mills dancers.”
Another audience member, Beatriz Perez- Stable, was also blown away by the event.
“The films were great, and there was so much to see. The program was just wonderful,” Perez- Stable said.
After months of practice, the show was a success. For the seniors, it was surreal.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” said Haines. “I do wish we had another show. I feel proud, relieved and honored to have had the experience with my dancers.”
The seniors will be performing in the MFA Thesis Concert: Short Stories happening Apr. 16-18.