This story was edited on Oct. 28, 2014, to reflect the corrections stated at the end.
By Rena Carman
Love was in the air at Gill Chapel on Oct. 17 and 18 when the Arts Management Association (AMA) presented Stages of Love, a dance showcase run and choreographed by students. The show presented the stages of relationships and what love encompasses.
The AMA is an organization open to all Rider students that allows them to gain experience in managing the arts.
Just days before the performance, the dance was moved from Fine Arts to the chapel because of a motor vehicle accident at the Spitz Theater.
“This change of location led to last-minute choreography changes due to the change in dance space,” said Jessica Spinosa, a sophomore arts administration major. “However, after all of the chaos, I’m so proud and honored to have been a part of such a beautiful and successful show.”
The first dance, “Adorn,” choreographed by senior journalism major J’na Jefferson, explored starting a serious relationship, according to Ashley Alvarez, junior dance major and vice president of AMA and director of the show. Junior musical theater major Travis Przybylski and freshman biology major Melissa Rasimowicz displayed falling and actually being in love in this duet.
The next stage captured the times of struggle and support in a relationship with senior elementary education major Ashley Miller’s dance, “Carry You.” The piece included Ashley Miller, Alvarez, sophomore elementary education major Taylor Miller and Spinosa. Many of the dance moves symbolized the support that characterizes a healthy relationship through physical movements such as lifting or holding a partner.
“The stage of love that I focused on was sort of an uplifting struggle,” said Ashley Miller. “I dedicated this piece to my cousin who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her fiancé were supposed to get married this August, but she was diagnosed in June. They decided to push up the wedding last minute so they could be married and share their special day with their family and friends before times got a little bit harder. My piece is about their story and how love endures all situations and hardships — including illness.
One of the lines from my song ‘Carry You’ that I used as a starting point was, ‘But if you don’t know struggle then you don’t know love.’ That was the main idea of the piece. Even when life gets hard, you still have your loved ones to carry you and help you push through.”
“I Will Wait,” a dance about meeting the right person at the wrong time, was choreographed by Spinosa and performed by sophomore biology major Jennifer Cabrera, sophomore elementary education major Melissa Exler, and Spinosa.
“This dance was the first piece that I have choreographed here at Rider,” Spinosa said. “The story line behind my dance was finding a love that was so strong, but the timing just wasn’t right. Therefore you were left to ‘wait’ for them.”
After a brief intermission, the Stages of Love continued with “Looking For You,” performed by Cabrera, freshman dance and digital media major Marie McVeigh and senior behavioral neuroscience major Danielle Minichino. This dance was about one person trying to save the relationship, while the other person slowly slips away.
“Words” was performed by Exler and Przybylski and choreographed by sophomore elementary education major Angela Sandoukas. This dance was about how a couple had things left unsaid and how those “regrets and emotions” feel after a breakup, according to Alvarez.
“The two dancers were supposed to feel like they should’ve worked harder at the relationship before letting it end,” she said. “It was about the frustration you feel when you know you didn’t give your best effort.
“The duets pose a challenge because not only do you need to create a full-length dance for only two people, but there also needs to be a physical as well as an emotional connection between the two dancers,” Alvarez said. “But you also need to create a story line and connection, and make sure it comes across to the audience.”
“After the Storm” was choreographed by junior marketing major Amanda Martinelli and performed by Alvarez, Martinelli, Taylor Miller, and Minichino. The show concluded with a dance about moving forward with hopes of finding love again.
Every performance received enthusiastic applause, as Stages of Love moved through stages of relationships.
Printed in the 10/22/14 edition.
In the Oct. 22 issue of The Rider News, the article “Love means everything for dance showcase” the title of the performance was not fully stated. The performance was called “Stages of Love: A Contemporary and Modern Dance Showcase.” In the same article, a quote was wrongly attributed to Ashley Alvarez. The quotes should have been attributed to Angela Sandoukas.