An original recital from UNC dancers

Students illustrate natural beauty and realism with modernism and masks


The “(AB) Normal” dance recital opened last Friday at the Langworthy Theatre on UNC’s central campus, displaying new works choreographed by the students of Dance 459, a dance production class for high school and UNC college students.

Monte Black and Brian Hapcic directed the recital. Black, a dance production professor at UNC, taught his pupils how to conceptualize and choreograph a successful dance concert by themselves. Hapcic oversaw stage lighting and sound design, and Naomi Gold created the lighting design. Students, however, did all the work, including marketing the concert, costume designs, lighting, and basically everything needed to produce their own dance concert.

Sets included numbers that justified the choreographed movements of each dancer, maintaining structure, balance, and the attention of the audience; ballerinas provided a substantial unflawed view of how dance breaks emotional boundaries. The show included an exceptional portrayal of classical and contemporary music that elevated the notion of expressed feelings through modern dance, which in return provided a genuine sense of professionalism by the students.

The lighting evoked an artistic feel that proved modern dance to not only be a form of realism but natural beauty as well. Small, petite black masks worn by the women in the second display provided a mysterious lifelike attitude towards the audience that correlated with the fast-paced music of the set.

The third set opened with a funky musical number that quickly dissolved into a jazz-tonal musical fixture that was structured into unblemished sequences brought on by the elegant dancers. The end of the display suggested an underlining. historical connection between politics and African-American segregation. Closing with a gospel number, the phrase “Law & Order” played in the background, including the voice of an African-American saying, “The revolution will not be televised, it will be live.”


The fourth and final set began with a mystical lighting display that expressed a feeling of mellowness, but was interrupted by the all-white outfits of the dancers. Shifting to an all-black background and foreground, the stage outlined the dancers in an obvious manner.

All the sets performed by the dancers and choreographed by the students created an awe-inspiring experience that proved how hard everybody worked.

Choreographers of the concert included Hannah Esparza-Escobar, Katelyn Kittilson, Jahmad Juluke, and Ashley Patin. All of them gave a special thanks to the faculty and staff of UNC’s School of Theatre Arts and Dance for working with Monte Black and the dance production class to help achieve this concert.


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