Growing as a Dancer and Choreographer in a Liberal Arts Curriculum

By Hailey Arindaeng

It has been a few weeks since the performance of Evening of Dance, my eighth and final performance with Orchesis Modern Dance Company in Phi Beta Kappa Theatre. After a long journey of growth throughout my dance career at William & Mary, I wanted to take this time to reflect on how my dance experiences have come together and fit into a unique liberal arts education at the College.

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Elements: The Choreographic Process

By Hailey Arindaeng (’18)

As a dance minor and president of Orchesis Modern Dance Company, I am excited to be in the process of choreographing the finale piece for Orchesis’ student choreographed show, An Evening of Dance. Entitled Elements, my finale piece explores the four natural elements of life. The finale features all 22 members of Orchesis who were divided into four groups: fire, earth, water, and air. The dancers were assigned their elements based on movement aesthetic preferences as well as practical logistics such as providing a variety of class years for mentorship as well as height considerations. The movement will explore the organic interactions that arise between these elements. I was inspired by how nature can coexist in such a breathtaking, peaceful manner that one can observe while hiking a mountain or venturing into a forest ecosystem. However, the elements can also cause unpredictable and alarming natural disasters in the form of devastating hurricanes and monsoons to name a few examples. The overarching movement quality will leverage my personal movement aesthetic of powerful, more angular movement with jazzier undertones. However, the movement and accompanying motifs will also reflect the qualities of each element. Water and air, for instance, will have more sustained and ethereal qualities, while fire and earth will be more percussive and grounded.

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