by Rebecca Picard
On Friday the 20 and Saturday the 21, the first group of senior ballet students held their senior project performances. The hard work and dedication that went into these performances were apparent. The dancers made their way across the stage incredibly and effortlessly. So, what does it take to create such astounding performances?
The Dominican Ballet Program, in partnership with the Alonzo King LINES ballet in San Francisco, brings students through a four year roller coaster of dance. When senior year comes around, the students are always in the city of San Francisco and rarely in San Rafael.
To take a look inside the rigorous ballet program, Elizabeth Anne Bertolino, a senior at Dominican, talked about what it has been like for her. Senior project try-outs were held in September and the first practice started the last week of the month. They’ve been practicing once a week since then. It’s no surprise now why the performance came together without a hitch. She explained in detail the strict regiment of the days starting with ballet in the morning, continuing on to modern dance and then either a workshop or learning choreography for the shows. Dance teachers from out of state or out of the country come for a workshop. This year, the dancers learned a few things from a dancer from The Netherlands Dance Company. Elizabeth Anne described the event as being wonderful, “We also do Gyrotonic, which is a workout specialized for dancers that has weights and machines and helps you gain strength where you're weak and helps you know what you need to work on. We do this twice a week all four years”
She had no idea what she was getting into when she started the program. “I had no idea what to expect. I was a strict ballet dancer and I had no idea how modern this was and I wasn't prepared, but when I got here I definitely adapted and I’ve grown to like it.”
“I can guarantee I’m going to miss the structure of class everyday. It’s definitely something I take for granted now but later on I’m going to be wishing I had it”, she explained. “Getting on the bus at 7am is not exactly ideal, but I’ll miss that.”
See the dancers in some of their last performances in the upcoming BFA Spring Showcase in Angelico Concert Hall on Friday, April 24 at 7pm and Saturday, April 25 at 3pm. They can also be seen in the Senior Showcase at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater in San Francisco on April 7 at 7:30pm.