Dazzling Opening Performance Leaves Audience Wanting More

by Dana Hirsch


Danceworks performers mesmerized audience members.
(Photo: Gustavo Comonian)

Danceworks, WCC’s dance company, dazzled an audience with its opening performance on Saturday, April 1 in the Academic Arts Building.

For the price of $10 for students and $15 for all other guests, individuals could enjoy a two-hour performance which featured eight separate choreographed dances performed by the diverse members of Danceworks.

“Danceworks has been the resident dance company of WCC since 1979, giving concert performances and performance demonstrations at the college as well as theaters, school, and libraries throughout New York State,” reads the Danceworks brochure. “Company members include WCC students and alumni.”

Dance segments ranged from performances premiered between the years of 1989 until 2017, while touching on subjects including, but not limited to, love, loss, jealousy, and war.

The fourth performance, ‘Lessons of the War’, was particularly moving, according to Michelle Myllek.

The dance opened with all dancers standing together in a crowd, screaming out names and fragments of sentences in terror. Shots sounded and the crowd dispersed. Dancers performed different routines scattered across the stage, creating a chaotic battle scene, after which they accumulated back into a crowd where they screamed out names, calling out to people they had lost until the lights faded.

“Danceworks concert performances present diverse choreographic styles,” according to the Danceworks brochure. “The performance demonstrations include audience participation and are designed to explain choreographic motivation and the choreographic process.”

Lauren Renner was a dancer in the company for years and has been watching the performance every year since 1989.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Renner said. “I know how much work goes into these performances and so it is incredible to watch dancers evolve with every show.”

According to Mike Franzblau, husband of Danceworks director Mollyann Franzblau, the show keeps getting better every year.

“People have been dancing together for a long time, they work as a group and it is remarkable to watch them mature as dancers over time. This dance company is especially unique because of it’s diversity in race, age, and body type.” – Franzblau

Franzblau said that some dancers even go on to be choreographers themselves.

“I come to watch this performance every year because a good friend of mine is a dancer in the company,” Myllek said. “I think it is very good and they are doing a great job. I feel that this performance is particularly moving, because the performance about war was .”

Having attended the performances over many years, Myllek said it’s hard to compare shows to one another since new dances are added yearly and new dancers join Danceworks for every performance.

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