Bonedale Ballet students explore life experiences through dance
Riven Badgett’s two-minute dance solo opens with a bang.
The 14-year-old uses her first choreographed piece as a way to process her emotions related to life and death.
“She’s telling a story about loss and coming to terms with that,” said Coredination and Bonedale Ballet co-owner Anthony Jerkunica. “Even though it’s a heavy topic, it’s what I feel drives people to express themselves through any number of different arts.”
Badgett originally choreographed the piece, performed to a friend’s musical composition, for a school performance. As she choreographed the dance, Badgett had in mind the plight of people in the Middle East. A recent trauma, though, underscored the meaning of life and death. That gave new weight to the dance, in which Badgett said she plays the role of a mourner.
Her work will be one of several pieces featured during 4 Seasons Variations and Mixed Repertoire, a weekend performance by Coredination and Bonedale Ballet students. The program opens with ballet and poetry that explore the seasons of the year. Tap, lyrical and contemporary dance comprise the second act of the program, including Badgett’s and other students’ choreography.
Dancers range in age from 2 to adults and include co-owners Anthony and Alexandra Jerkunica.
During a recent rehearsal, one young student was overcome by the Jerkunicas’ “summer” performance. “That was so cool,” she said, leaning toward the dancers.
Each group rehearsed its dance twice, and Alexandra Jerkunica was quick to note the value in that practice. Each performance was stronger than its initial run through, she said.
“That’s the kind of nuance as a dance performer that happens when you get the nerves out,” she said after rehearsing a solo.
Badgett’s rehearsal elicited similar excitement from Alexandra Jerkunica, who said she had chills. The magic of performance is part of dance’s appeal.
“]Ballet] is so ephemeral — it exists in the present, the time in which it’s performed,” Anthony Jerkunica. “That’s what makes it so special. It’s transient.”