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October 2012

Prancing at the Palace


Westhill students participate in the Young Choreographers Festival Katie Van Name Staff Writer

Eileen Westfahl / Contributed Photos

UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT In 2011, Westhill students performed in the Young Choreographers Festival with choreography by senior Richard Westfahl. Westfahl’s choreography will be used again this year.

Every year at the Palace Theater in Stamford, young dancers and choreographers come together to be a part of the Young Choreographers Festival, which gives young artists the opportunity to choreograph for their peers. This year’s event will take place on November 11 at 6 p.m. at the Palace Theater in Stamford. It will be hosted by the Stamford Center for the Arts for the second year. Tickets for students will be $15, while adult tickets will be $20. The performance will include a collection of dancers from various studios in Connecticut. This will allow young dancers to meet and talk to people from around the area about their dance aspirations. The showcase features about twenty different choreographers who are allowed to choreograph any genre of dance with any number of dancers. The dances can range in form from classical bal-

let to hip hop to Irish step dance. Each choreographer is required to attend and participate in one master class on choreography so they can learn and discuss ideas for their pieces. They can also receive feedback from professional choreographers. Senior Richard Westfahl choreographed an intense jazz piece to a remix of the song “Seven Nation Army” last year. The piece tells an evil twisted story. The dance featured fellow Westhill seniors Joely Mass and Jamie Dolce, as well as sophomores Lauren Wilson and Monika Znosko. “I love being a part of this show because it allows me to change roles from being a dancer to a choreographer, where I control and create the vision for the movement, music, costume, lighting, and story. Also, to have my work showcased on such a grand stage like the Palace Theater is like no other feeling,” Westfahl said. This will be Westfahl’s sec-

ond time choreographing for the festival; this will also be the second time Westfahl will choreograph for senior Jamie Dolce. “The Young Choreographers festival is a very exciting opportunity. It’s a joy to see kids from all around express their own style. Being in Richard’s piece is always a fun experience. I’m constantly impressed with his choreography and shocked with how he finds his inspiration. I encourage many dancers to take part in this event and encourage friends, family, and Stamford residents to come see the show,” Dolce said. The dancers have been meeting about once a week to learn and review Westfahl’s choreography at Locust Performing Arts Center, a local dance studio. After hours of preparation, the choreographers will be ready to perform their pieces in front of fellow performers. To buy a ticket for the event online, visit

The Reel Review Column by Sara Hollenberg

As the leaves start to change color and the new school year begins to settle in, it is finally apparent that autumn has begun. Not only has this season brought in much colder temperatures, but also a new, refreshing breeze of films, which have hit the movie theaters and replaced the summer blockbusters. I tried to use my Columbus Day weekend to relax and have fun, but with homework and other activities, that was very difficult to do. The highlight of my weekend was when I went to see the movie Pitch Perfect, a hilarious comedy about an all-girls singing group. The film follows the life of college freshman, Beca, played by Anna Kendrick, who is forced by her father to go to college. She does so reluctantly, as she hopes to move to Los Angeles and pursue her dream to become a professional disc jockey. As given away in the

trailer, Beca joins the “Barden Bella’s,” a competitive all-girls acapella team at her college. As the story progresses, Beca develops close friendships with the rest of the team, as well as a boy who works at the radio station with her, and learns the joys of having friends. I was extremely impressed with the vocal talents of Kendrick and her co-stars, Brittany Snow and Anna Camp, who play two of the acapella group’s longtime singers, Chloe and Aubrey. I sincerely enjoyed the comedic outbursts of Rebel Wilson, who took on the role of character “Fat Amy.” John Hughes’ infamous soundtrack, which was originally featured in the 1985 blockbuster, The Breakfast Club, is reintroduced to movie viewers in this film. I decided to watch The Breakfast Club the next night and found it quite moving. The film takes place on a Saturday morning at

a high school where five utterly different students are brought together in detention. What I found most interesting about watching the film was how much society has changed in 25 years. For example, when character Claire, portrayed by 1985’s it-girl Molly Ringwald, had sushi in her lunch, it was seen as ground-breaking because it was so uncommon in that day to have ethnic food. Aside from the killer soundtrack and all-star cast, I genuinely enjoyed watching Pitch Perfect. I think the diversity of the cast makes the film relatable to anybody in high school today, and the movie shows us that no matter how different we are on the outside, we are all people with feelings, and that you can find a friend in anybody. I would recommend this film to students male and female alike who want a good laugh and enjoy musicals and romantic comedies. / Contributed Photo

SING IT OUT Pitch Perfect, a comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow, revolves around competitive college acapella groups.