As San Francisco says goodbye to its recent downpours, there’s no better way to celebrate than with dance. Luckily, the Performing Arts and Social Justice department (PASJ) is doing just that.
The Foghorn spoke with dancers Connie McKenzie and Philip Agyapong to learn more about PASJ’s upcoming Dance Ensemble Spring Concert. The enthusiastic and lively pair spoke about preparing for the concert while addressing the immense amount of work and dedication that goes into putting together an event like this.
McKenzie has been practicing since early February for the concert; she said she puts in 4-10 hours each week to prepare. This may sound like a lot, but she assured us that despite how time-consuming the preparation may be for her, it is unbelievably rewarding. “It’s a lot of complaining until we finally perform,” McKenzie said. “Then I just want to do it all over again.”
Agyapong, a choreographer in the production and ambassador for the dance program, has been preparing for the concert since January. He described dance as a way of tracing back history, as styles reflect the time period they originated in. In his choreography, Agyapong draws from his repertoire of African movements to shape and mold something new. He said that he gets so excited and inspired when working with dancers that he always wants to add more choreography. In preparation for the upcoming concert, Agyapong prepared a dance that tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade.
“I want to tell a story of the emotions of the Africans on the ship,” Agyapong said. “I wonder what they were thinking.”
The Dance Ensemble Spring Concert will be held on May 3 in Presentation Theater. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 with a USF ID.