Choirs to perform “Dance My Heart” in Spring Concert

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Arohi Bhattacharya, Senior Staff Writer

Students can look forward to watching “Dance My Heart” at the Paly Choir Spring concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Performing Arts Center.

Singers will perform folk, Broadway, classical European and even Electronic Dance music (EDM), all with a “Dance My Heart” theme, according to choir director Brittney Kerby, who said the idea for the show came from her love of combining music and dance on the stage.

Music and dance have always been married together,” Kerby said. “They bring out the best in one another, and this concert celebrates that relationship with music that spans eras in a celebration of song and movement.

Palo Alto High School’s Madrigals Choir performs in authentic Madrigals gowns last year. This year, the choir will present a mix of traditional European, folk and Broadway music in its Spring concert, “Dance My Heart.” Choir director Brittney Kerby said she hopes this concert gives the performers a chance to sing in different genres of music. “We are constantly seeking out ways to expand our knowledge in our music-making in order to share a more detailed, thoughtful story with our audience,” Kerby said. (Photo: Jonathan Chen)

Kerby said because there is a dance element involved, the concert features more abstract pieces in hopes of engaging the audience with its moves. 

We have created a more immersive experience for our audience, rather than the usual start and stop of a traditional choir concert,” Kerby said. “We are connecting our songs through the single thread of dance. We get to time travel and move around the world as we explore music that connects us.”

Kerby said the choir was able to gain new connections with outside singers as a result of learning the new types of music, which she hopes helped the choir gain a better understanding of the pieces.

“This year, our goal was to celebrate making music together and tell an authentic story to our audience,” Kerby said. “As we put this concert together, The Spectrum Singers had the opportunity to work with a Samoan dance artist from San Francisco and collaborate with Paly’s Dance classes to learn a tap dance.”

According to soprano singer and senior Rohini Bharat, rehearsing for the unique pieces, especially with COVID-19 restrictions, has been difficult for the choir. 

Some of the pieces are quite difficult, but we were able to have a few masterclasses as well to really make them smoother,” Bharat said. “Because of COVID, there are a lot of aspects of performing that are still challenging, but overall it’s been getting to normalcy.” 

Bharat said she values the idea of a more nontraditional concert. 

The spring concert is exciting because it will feature solos, duets and trios, as well as the different ensembles,” Bharat said. “The theme of dance is really interesting because we are given the chance to show how each piece, whether it be German or Hungarian, reflects dance. I’m excited for people to see what we’ve been working on.

According to tenor singer and junior Jason Yang, the choir’s recent trip to Southern California was useful in preparation for the concert.

“We had a lot of opportunities to gain new insight from other professors during our SoCal tour and other choral directors,” Yang said. “They each had different opinions but they all helped us to look at the music in different ways.” 

Yang said he echoes the excitement of performing different genres of music and enjoys the ability to showcase the theme to the audience.

“I am very excited about the music selection that we are singing,” Yang said. “Exploring various dance music has been an interesting experience to learn about. It’s like being able to dance back in time or overseas, seeing the similarities and differences in the music and the different emotions being expressed.”

For more information and tickets, visit the Paly Choirs website.