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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

2020 dance show tells a tale of breaking free from shackles

Stephen Li
The dance team performs “Frames Framed.”

Through every elegant flutter or jump, dance tells a unique story. This year’s dance show was a spectacle that left audience members amazed by its meaningful message. 

Michael Szanyi, humanities department faculty and head of VWS dorms, his dance crew, and the tech team’s show narrated an intricate tale of breaking free from shackles. 

The show explored a relationship between the three pre-World War I paintings: “O, Romeo, Romeo Wherefore Art Thou Romeo?,” “The Remorse of Judas,” and “The Lament for Icarus.”

In the show, the dancers divided into groups that personified the paintings. These entities served as autonomous units, their stark and stagnant movements all following an ordered pattern. It appeared as if they were searching for equilibrium, something that could bring balance and structure to the chaos of war around them. 

Furthermore, the dancers were looking for something that could release them from the constraints of telling a one-sided story. The dancers turned the paintings into more than just mere images; they told stories that gave meaning to the art. 

“There’s a Latin phrase that means ‘to be rather than to seem’ [Esse Quam Videri],” said Mr. Szanyi. “I wonder what it might be like for these figures to be rather than to seem.” 

The dancers who personified the paintings in the show tried not to “seem.” The performers achieved this state by breaking out of their frames and narrating the story themselves. Their movements conveyed to the audience that they can take this practice into the real-world and posed the question of what it would mean for the audience members themselves to follow after the dancer’s lead. 

“I wonder what it might be like for you to be, rather than to seem,” Mr. Szanyi said.

The dance show has left the Webb community with an impactful lesson. We must truly learn “to be rather than to seem.” Our lives cannot be filled with aimless bystanders or audience members. But instead like the dancers, we should strive to narrate our own lives and truly take control, no matter the circumstances. 

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About the Contributors
Janina Akporavbare, Staff Writer
Janina Akporavbare (‘22) loves to write, so her choice to join the Webb Canyon Chronicle as a staff writer is a perfect choice. During her leisure time, Janina can be found skating down a street, surfing in the SoCal waves, or practicing an array of sports. She identifies as an extroverted introvert – while she may be quiet and keep to herself, she will speak up for her passions. Her favorite courses, specifically in the humanities, have given her the opportunity to discuss philosophy and debate heavy topics, which she hopes to carry over to the publication. During her time as a new staff writer, she aspires to cover articles about mental health crises and other issues that people often ignore.
Stephen Li, Chief Editor of Media
Stephen Li (‘21) is the Chief Editor of Media this year for the Webb Canyon Chronicle. He only started photography recreationally four years ago, but this skill has helped him contribute to the WCC through improving the quality of photos, an important yet often overlooked aspect of any publication. As the captain of the varsity football team, it’s no surprise that Stephens favorite spot on campus is the football field. Because of this passion, one of his many goals is to continue playing football in college, as he wants to increase Asian representation in American sports. This year, Stephen wants to increase the impact the Webb Canyon Chronicle has on the community through gaining more readers, and, as a peer advisor, he wants to continue bringing people together especially in the midst of a pandemic. Stephen’s proven talent for rallying the morale of his teammates and peers is a skill that makes him an irreplaceable member of the WCC team. 

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    Theresa Smith | Mar 5, 2020 at 11:24 AM

    Amazing Students,

    Words cannot express how meaningful and amazing the dance show was. Good Job Webbies!