Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance! Francisco of Fuego del Corazon

by Estefania Szapiro

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Dancer of Fuego del Corazon– Francisco Uzcategui

“Having so many great people on the team and in the dancing community is incredibly important when you spend so much time with them. A lot of the friendships I developed through college have come from Fuego and it has brought my BC experience to a whole new level” – Francisco Uzcategui

Francisco (CSOM’ 17) is an international student from Venezuela and has been the the captain of Fuego del Corazon for the past two years. Fuego strives to encourage the awareness of Latin culture through dance in a positive and co-ed environment. They perform Tango, Bachata, Merengue, Salsa and every other dance style with Latin roots, but also like to mix it up with some contemporary styles like Hip-Hop. More than a dance group, Fuego is before all else a family.

Initially, Francisco considered himself a social dancer and claims to never have imagined joining an actual dance team and performing before an audience. This all changed when he came to BC and decided to branch out and try new things. He first heard about Fuego at a party in freshmen year where a member of the team saw him dancing and urged him to try out. He was selected among the many students that auditioned and made a life-changing decision by joining the team. Not only did he discover a passion in the arts, but also made life-long friendships that positively influenced his college experience.

For Week of Dance Francisco is excited to see what the other teams are bringing this year, especially choreographies. He encourages everyone to come to the Week of Dance shows and workshops to enjoy some good dancing and cool performances and promises you wont regret it.

Come to Week of Dance and support your friends and dance groups! Experience BC’s art of dance and see more than 100 talented performers do what they love most.

Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

 

And be sure to check out Fuego’s special workshop on Tues Nov 29 in the Brighton Dance Studio!

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Week of Dance! Dancer Spotlight: Monica of On Tap

By Rachel Vishanoff

In order to kick off the Arts Council & Robsham Theater Arts Center event Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, so we would like to introduce you to BC Senior and tapper Monica Cosica of BC’s On Tap!

Be sure to check out the Week of Dance Facebook event for more info and be sure to get your tickets from the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

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On Tap is BC’s only all-tap dance group on campus, and it is also BC’s newest dance group! Since the spring of 2015, On Tap has grown tremendously and is now proud to perform in events like Week of Dance, Showdown, Arts Fest, and Dancing with bOp!

Monica Coscia, a dancer of 17 years, is a senior in On Tap and a member of the executive board.

“Watching On Tap grow through my transition as a member of the first e-board to a leader of the group has been one of my most formative experiences at Boston College: it has taught me that anyone with enough self-motivation and perseverance can turn his or her passion into a successful enterprise that has provided a community to dozens of dancers and entertainment to thousands of audience members.”

“Because I, like so many others at BC, am constantly expressing myself through complex conversations, discussions, and essays, dance allows me to self-express in a non-verbal, non-written way”

“Tap is my favorite style of dance because the possibilities for choreography are endless—there are innumerable combinations of each tap step that can be performed with any style of music or no music at all, mixed with other styles of dance like jazz and hip hop, and performed in traditional or modern styles.”

“Tap is its own language, and there is something unspeakably satisfying about many dancers speaking it in perfect unison.”

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Be sure to check out the BC Week of Dance workshops throughout this week (schedule below) as well as the Week of Dance Showcase shows on Friday Dec 2nd at 7:00pm and Saturday Dec 3rd at 7:00pm; tickets through at Robsham Theater Arts Center.

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Week of Dance Spotlight: Meet the Golden Eagles Dance Team!

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by Rachel Vishanoff

The Golden Eagles Dance Team spends most of the fall season performing along side the Screaming Eagles Marching Band half time and throughout BC Game Days. But they also like to showcase student choreography in a wide variety of styles at events like Week of Dance and Arts Fest, and they spend their whole spring season exploring and celebrating the many diverse talents of the team.

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Julia McTigue (MCAS ’20), a ballet dancer all her life, joined the Golden Eagles Dance Team this year to continue dancing in college and stay in shape, while also experiencing a new pace and style of dance. If she’s learned anything this season, she says that it’s “the importance of the whole rather than the individual.” To put on a good halftime show, everyone has to contribute equally with the final product in view—and that’s what gives the performance its impact. “What I like about the Dance Team is that we all have different backgrounds and talents and we all contribute in our own way.” For Julia, this goes far beyond the final product on the field. She already felt at home when she moved to campus and found a GEDT sign on her door to welcome her, and she loves that she was able to come to campus early and establish herself and make friends. “The upperclassmen have really taken me under their wing”—yet one more reason why she feels like the Golden Eagles have given her a home here at BC.

Rachel Vishanoff (MCAS ’18) is one of the student leaders for the Golden Eagles this year, and is most excited to be able to watch the team become such an important home at BC for the freshmen this year just like it has been for her. “Little things like the name plates on the doors of all our dancers’ rooms, and game-day sticky notes in everyone’s lockers have been special to me the past three years and it’s been wonderful to be on the other side of that this year and actually be helping to make those things happen for the team.” Her favorite game-day tradition is reciting Psalm 150 with everyone before taking the field. “It’s a reminder that who we are while no one is watching us is just as important, if not more, than what we put on the field that day, and that’s what makes the team special.”

The Golden Eagles Dance Team will be performing during the Week of Dance at the BC Dance Showcase! The Dance Showcase will perform twice, on Friday December 2nd at 7:00pm, and on Saturday December 3rd at 7:00pm, and features 12 different BC dance groups! Tickets on sale through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office starting November 21st.

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Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance: Emily Durkin, Dance Ensemble

What happens when you put together about 30 amazing dancers who also choreograph their own dances? You get Boston College’s Dance Ensemble. According to BCDE’s own website, “All the proceeds that BCDE generates from performances benefit the Boston College Campus School, a non-profit special education day school for students ages 3-21 with multiple disabilities.”

In order to kick off Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, starting with BCDE’s Director Emily Durkin.

Emily is currently a senior at Boston College pursuing a major in Economics and Philosophy. Not only is Durkin the current director of BCDE, but she was also formerly the Vice Chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee at BC.

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We had a chance to sit down to ask her a few questions about her dance experience:

What inspires you to dance? How has it impacted your life? 

Dance Ensemble at BC has given me my best friends and most special memories. I auditioned for the team at the last minute my freshman year, and I am so glad I did. We feel so lucky that we get to spend time in our beautiful rehearsal space sharing our passion with one another through our choreography each semester. I am consistently blown away by the creativity of my peers.

What is your favorite dance memory at BC? 

I love the entire week leading up to our Week of Dance show in Robsham. It’s hard work – we are at the theater for upwards of 6 hours a day for the entire week – but it is also rewarding as we finally get to perform for an audience at the end of the week.

What makes Dance Ensemble “Dance Ensemble”? 

Everyone on DE truly is the luckiest. We get to learn about ourselves and each other throughout our four years together. DE’s emphasis on technique with weekly ballet classes makes it truly unique.

What are you looking forward to at Boston College with dance?

Our show is always the highlight of the year, it is the culmination of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours of hard work, but the opportunity to share our dance with the BC community on the Robsham Theater Arts Center stage is truly special and one that we do not take for granted.

Come out to support Boston College Dance Ensemble during the 2016 Week of Dance hosted by the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

Check out the BCDE Facebook Page! BCDE will be teaching a FREE workshop on Tuesday November 29th at 7:30pm in Brighton Dance Studio! And be sure to pick up tickets through the Robsham Theater Arts Center for Week of Dance performance tickets!

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Student Artist Feature: Sanjay Pamaar

Meet Sanjay! As a 2015 Arts Award Recipient and an active member of the Boston College music scene, he has plenty of art stories to share. Read on as he reflects upon his BC art experiences. Spoiler Alert: you may spot Sanjay on stage with bOp! a couple of times during the 2016 Arts Festival! Don’t miss BC bOp!’s free performance on Friday, April 29th at 12:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza, and definitely don’t miss the                                                swirled-dance-and-music-extravanganza that is…

Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. All Students get in for FREE with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15, or $10 for senior citizens).

In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I’ve heavily involved myself with music here at BC. Since my freshman year, I’ve been heavily involved in the BC Bands program here as a percussionist. I’ve been an Executive Board Member and Percussion Section Leader of the Symphonic Band (affectionately known as SymBa), Drumline Section Leader in the BC Marching Band, and a drum set player in both BC bOp! and the Pep Band.

Lately, however, I’ve also been taking classical music composition very seriously, studying with Professor Ralf Gawlick, which eventually led to my Senior Composition Thesis – a work for Symphonic Band, which was premiered on April 12th.

I’ve also been doing some music teaching around BC. I currently volunteer as a Student Mentor at St. Columbkille through the BC Bands Service Group and assist our percussion instructors in teaching the Percussion Tech class, or winter drumline. I also love to attend other concerts with groups I’m not involved in, keeping my ears filled with the music made by my friends.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

Well, in January I decided to leave my pre-medical studies behind to pursue graduate school in music composition. So perhaps being so engrossed in music at BC caused an entire career change for me! Musical and artistic processes also require me to pour 100% of myself into them. My time at BC has definitely taught me a lot about my weaknesses and strengths as an artist, leader, and teacher. Speaking with all of my teachers, professors, and directors about musical leadership has also helped me become more aware of my role as a musician.

Studying composition, in particular, has kept me engaged in the artistic process. I really like being around artists at BC too, because they are so well-rounded and willing to discuss their art. For example, I compose more modern classical music, but my friend likes to write music for musical theater, and my roommate writes screenplays, short stories, television scripts, and comedy. The three of us really enjoy speaking to each other about our work, and discussing different problems in the creative process.

Who or what inspires you and why?

My teachers and mentors have definitely been huge role models for me, encouraging me to keep working hard in music, whether with composition, conducting, or teaching. The work that they all do is fascinating, and they greatly influence me. My family has also been so supportive, and they keep me motivated to continue in my musical path. Other than that, my friends and I who are involved in the arts help push each other, and keep each other in check. I really enjoy our lively discussions about art.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 is a day that I’ll never forget. That night was the premiere of my senior composition thesis with Symphonic Band. This 15-minute piece for wind band is titled Visions of Marian Rose, and it’s a reflection and meditation on conflicting emotions that occur during my involvement in my family’s medical mission work on our home island of Iloilo in the Philippines. Marian Rose World Mission has teamed with LIG Global Foundation to bring our volunteer services to Iloilo each January for the past four years, focusing on women’s health and well-being issues, providing medical and surgical services to less fortunate women and young girls with limited access to necessary health assistance.

The premiere itself was emotional to say the least – the energy in that room was incredibly spiritual. It was really scary to share and conduct this extremely personal work with so many people in the audience and Symphonic Band, but I felt the love and support of the people in Trinity Chapel that night. My family and some of the mission workers were also there to experience that special moment. I’m still processing all of it a few days later, but it’s something for which I’m eternally grateful to everyone involved – audience, mission workers, teachers and musicians alike. That night really taught me that so many people go into art, including the source of inspiration, parents, teachers, friends, supporters, and performers.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Arts Festival?

I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow seniors perform all over BC – I really appreciate their camaraderie and friendship over the past four years. We all love to see each other’s events and works, and this Arts Fest is a great culmination of our work. Although SymBa is not performing at Arts Fest this year, I’ll be playing with BC bOp! on Friday, April 29th at 12:00 PM and at Dancing with bOp! on Saturday, April 30th at 8:00 PM.

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Student Artist Feature: Meet Parker!

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Meet Parker Aubin! This accomplished musician shares his art story with BC Arts Insider: a four-year love affair with music, BC Bands, and all things bOp!

Don’t miss Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. Students get in for free with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15).

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In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?
Of all of the opportunities in the arts that BC provides, I have felt most at home in the performing musical arts. I have been a member of several ensembles in the BC Bands program in my four years here. Without downplaying the merits of the other groups in which I have played, I have undoubtedly had some of the greatest musical (and otherwise) experiences as a member of BC bOp!. I have also grown the most as a musician and artist in the atmosphere of high-caliber playing and friendly camaraderie that is bOp!.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?
I found my second family as a member of BC bOp!. The tight social bond that we have in bOp! stems from the common goal of creating art through quality music on various stages across New England (and once in Idaho). We each bring something different to the ensemble, and playing together, we forge a sound greater than the sum of the individual components.

Who or what inspires you and why?
With any college group, there is the unique property of member rotation as veteran members graduate and underclassmen join. In my first two years of the ensemble, I was fortunate to have the guidance of two upperclassmen in my section, Dave Bonaiuto and Terry Peng, who were a great source of inspiration to my playing and understanding of our media, jazz. In my last two years, I took on the role of section leader with their influence in mind as I tried my best to impart some of the same wisdom on the other members of my section and the ensemble. I am humbled by the tradition that we uphold in BC bOp! and remember that a portion of our present musical success is owed to the players who came before me. I am inspired not only by my contemporaries in the ensemble, but by the bOp! alumni who set the scene for us.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?
I have always gotten a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from our annual Dancing With bOp! show during Arts Fest. This performance is unique for us because we work with the dance groups on campus to provide live musical accompaniment to their routines – which is hardly ever our usual style. It is fun music to play, and the environment of the performance is unparalleled. Each dance group has a different flavor and style and it is a real joy to play with each of them throughout the night. The atmosphere of the audience is also different from most of our other shows. Because of the individual fan clubs from each group coming together with our fans and spectators interested in the show as a whole, the audience is always vibrant and supportive. I love the opportunity that the Dancing With bOp! provides us with to collaborate with various dance groups combining visual and musical arts in a captivating event.

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Student Artist Feature: Anne Wilder of BC bOp! and The Golden Eagles

Meet Anne Wilder! A natural perfomer, Anne has fond memories of her time with BC bOp!, the Golden Eagles dance team, and the Arts Festival! Read on as Anne shares her art history and lets us know what is so special about the Festival’s featured event Dancing with bOp!

Don’t miss Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. Students get in for free with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15).

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In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I am a vocalist and Student Executive Board member of BC bOp!. In addition to that, I also am the Section Leader of the Golden Eagles Dance Team. I have been performing with both these groups since I was a freshman at Boston College, so performing has been of my life here at BC.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

The arts have been a huge part of my college experience. The arts have not only provided me with great opportunities but it also allowed for me to meet some of my closest friends! It has been so much to have such great creative outlets where I can express myself and still have a lot of fun in the process.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I am inspired by all different types of art forms. Boston College has such rich and diverse art forms on campus that it allows for us to be continuously surrounded by such great creative inspiration.
What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

My most memorable arts experiences are whenever I have an opportunity to perform. One of my favorite performances of the year is Dancing With bOp! during Arts Fest. It allows me to collaborate my love of dance and music into one show!

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