Women’s rights issue makes way into dance concert

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A $5 entry fees help fund field trips

By Blanca Granados


This college’s annual Works in Progress concert Nov. 30 will call attention to women’s rights, sexual harassment and unrealistic societal physical beauty standards, dance Coordinator George Ann Simpson said in an interview Nov. 6.

She will be directing a dance number to a poem written about those concerns. 

Performances will include ballet, modern and jazz pieces performed by all 13 dance classes at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of McAllister Fine Arts Center.  

The entry fee is $5.

Every fall the dance program has a prep concert to help students get comfortable performing for the bigger concert in the spring, Simpson said. 

A prep concert is a smaller concert that helps students adjust to performing. The spring concert will have all the routines learned in the fall as well as the routines learned in the spring, she said.

“That’s why it’s called ‘Works in Progress,’” she said. “Everyone dresses in black for this prep concert. In the spring they will actually have uniforms. It’s a much bigger production.”

Every year the concert is different based on what the instructor of each class wants to do, she said. 

“This year instead of using music we’re (her class) using a poem that we’re dancing to,” she said, referring to her DANC 1301, Dance Composition Choreography, class.

The poem is called “Just ‘Be a Lady They Said’” by Camille Rainville.  

Nothing but the narrator’s voice will be heard as the dance for this lyrical contemporary piece is performed, she said.

The poem contains the lines:

“Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no. Be a lady, they said.”

The poem was introduced to Simpson by a friend shortly after several discussions in choreography class on abuse of ballet dancers in the New York City Ballet Company, she said.  

The New York Times reported the New York City Ballet Company’s ballet master in chief, Peter Martins, retired after being accused of sexual harassment and physical and verbal abuse.

Martins was confronted with allegations that go back to 1993.

Seeing the poem the day of discussing this story further convinced Simpson of choreographing a dance to it, she said. 

It is an important, relevant issue everyone felt strongly about, she said. 

“I came back to the class and said, ‘We need to choreograph a piece to this,’” she said. “We need to do this.” 

The show will also consist of lighter-hearted numbers, she said. The concert will probably end with something upbeat and popular in which all dance classes participate, she said.  

The entree fee helps fund the Dance Club’s weekend trip to Sam Houston State University, where students attend a variety of dance classes, she said. 

“The trip to Houston will now be offered every other year,” she said.

Anyone who likes to dance can join, she said.  

For more information, call 210-486-1021.


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