Creating “Memories…”

“Memories Live Within the Heart” is a piece that became very near and dear to me. Dance has been a part of my life for the past 18 years, and I wanted to take the opportunity to publicize something that has impacted me in so many ways.

When I came to WVU, I began taking classes as a part of the dance minor program. I was lucky enough to come in under the new director, Yoav Kaddar, who has big plans to expand the program.

His vision to create a dance major at WVU was a story I thought was worth telling, and that is where our multi-media project began. Rebecca and Carl told Kaddar’s story through their print piece.

For the video portion, I chose to focus on how one student in the program took a piece of her life and translated it into movement.

Valerie watches as her dancers run through a new piece of choreography.

She walked me through her creative process, the idea behind her dance, and the symbolism throughout the piece. It’s a touching story and one that many can relate to.

More importantly than showing just one person’s story, I wanted to use it as an example. Dance is so foreign to so many people, but it can be one of the most incredible forms of expression.

I wanted to give my audience the opportunity to see that dance is for everyone. Choreographers are just storytellers and dancers merely a visual expression of the words.

Valerie explains the symbolism behind the movement to two of her dancers.

I hope our project opens up the eyes of its viewers. I hope it sparks an interest (maybe even a passion) in an art form that has shaped my life and so many others’.

— Ashton Marra

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