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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Evening of dance to touch on grief

    Some artists labor in solitude, slashing paint across canvas in private studios or composing sacred symphonies meant for their ears only. But UA graduate student Brooke Hughes Melton is taking to the stage.

    Melton, who will graduate with a master’s in choreography at the end of the spring semester, is the choreographer and director of the upcoming “”Dance Upon Reflection”” performance. The entire event, a benefit for the Academy for Cancer Wellness, is Melton’s creation.

    While previous students in the School of Dance have held concerts in support of organizations such as the Humane Society or the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation, Melton chose a cause that was much closer to home.

    “”I’ve always been very selfless in my work. I like to try to help people out whenever I can, and my family has been touched by the effects of cancer throughout my life,”” she said. “”All of my pieces are based on something that has either happened in my life or that I’ve gone through or am going through.””

    Much of the concert also contains concepts that might be difficult or too mature for a young audience.

    “”When you’re in a place where you have to think about life and death, I think you’re just a little bit more aware and contemplative,”” Melton said.

    The dancers from the UA Dance Ensemble who have been involved in her work have used that awareness as inspiration. Four of the women have been working with Melton since she was in her first year as a graduate student.

    “”My dancers play such a huge role in the process, because every time they take on a character they really embody it,”” Melton said. “”We talk about how they would really feel if they were going through a loss.””

    The workshop process is important to the integrity of the choreography; constant communication ensures that everyone involved, from dancers to directors to lighting technicians, is on the same page.

    Putting together such an event is daunting; Melton began the process almost a year ago.

    “”This is so huge to me. Usually I work under somebody else’s guidance, but this time I have the world at my fingertips,”” she said. “”I just hope that people feel a little piece of my heart out there.””

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