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Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company’s Spring 2023 showcase “[intervals]” explores the various interpretations and uses of the concept of intervals between movements, space, emotional states, and time. The use of props and artistry in “[intervals]” transcended mere rehearsed dances to tell stories of intervals in a variety of contexts.
The show opened with choreography from Nisha Srinivasa, a student at the Graduate School of Education, as she danced alongside fellow GSE student Megan C. Itagaki, Cindy Wang ’24, and Clara Q. Chen ’25 in a routine titled “Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder.” The group began the piece out of sync, though they eventually came together and danced in unison. The precision of their movements also seemed to improve as the song progressed. The concept of intervals was skillfully established here by introducing one dancer who was separated from the rest of her group, depicting her struggle with fitting in and finding community through synchronization and further isolation from the other dance members.
Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company took many approaches in exploring the spaces which lie within human interactions. In other routines including “The Night We Met,” “learn to let go,” and “within limits,” dancers portrayed themes of lost love, letting go, and the finite nature of the shared human experience, respectively. Particularly in “The Night We Met,” dancers moved through the choreography quickly without phrasing and space to breathe and complete each movement fully. The dance felt a bit rushed, but sections of unison were well synchronized and facial expressions helped to convey the defeat and ache which accompany losing a loved one.
A ballet-heavy dance titled “shapeshifting,” choreographed by Karina H. Halevy ’23, utilized props to build on the theme of relationships, focusing on how the transition between phases of life influenced people’s interactions with others. The piece began with a duet, and the third dancer in the trio was introduced about halfway through. Ava L.Winer ’26, Karina H. Halevy ’23, and Laura Elena Véjar Carrillo — a student at the Medical School — passed a flower between one another, at times seeming to almost fall in and out of harmony as they skillfully portrayed beautiful images with their bodies.
A less somber interpretation of the theme of “[intervals]” shone through in “The Way the Cookie Crumbles” — a piece full of colorful lighting and a little awkward phrasing to “Everything’s Just Wonderful” by Lily Allen. Perhaps the most optimistic routine of the entire program, “The Way the Cookie Crumbles” dove into serious topics of identity with an air of sass. This song was reused in the piece “waking,” which repeated the same introspective motif throughout the dance, passing through each dancer at various moments. The dance group’s command of the stage was also very essential, allowing each individual member’s skill to be highlighted.
Overall, the show’s choreography helped express the central theme of “[intervals]” and its many different perceptions. Each dancer individually internalized their own interpretation of routines and joined together to portray gaps between movements and time. Without missing a beat, the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company’s performance quality perfectly communicated the myriad of emotions and interactions emblematic of intervals.
—Staff writer Gwendolyn M. Ibarra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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