© 2020 by Elayne Zalis. All rights reserved.  

 

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Transforming "Dear Diary": A Child's Space

"On six separate stages, one for each dancer, Arella’s guides demonstrate their skills as choreographers and dramatists, recreating episodes from an ongoing story. Unable to take in everything at once, Arella watches one performer at a time, beginning with the youngest, Dancer in Rose:

 

"A piano accompanist plays in the shadows as a ten-year-old girl performs on a stage designed just for her. She wears a rose unitard and a short gossamer skirt with silver, blue, and plum sequins. She is slender, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Inspired by her life in Miami, she keeps the mid-1960s alive by reciting diary entries that she recorded with care, celebrating a fifth-grader’s world.

 

"DANCER IN ROSE: We had a little art lesson. For extra credit I turned in the Greek gods that I sculpted with soap. At the park Rita and I chanted witch verses. They go: 'Ish ka bibaly, olton dolton, bo bo ba de tan dot an, wa bash ba do.' Everyone thought we were casting a spell.

 

"In the territory she has claimed as her own, Dancer in Rose spins with abandon." (Arella's Repertoire 6)