Arts & Entertainment

Watchung Hills Presents Spring Dance Concert


WARREN, NJ . – The Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Dance Ensemble explored a broad spectrum of dance expression through a program that included 21 numbers at the 2018 Spring Dance Concert, Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12, in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC).

The vast majority of the numbers were also choreographed by WHRHS students. WHRHS Dance Department Educator Annanda Pagenkopf is the Dance Ensemble Advisor. She choreographed the number, “Senior Dance,” and was the Spring Dance Concert’s Lighting Designer.

Anna Paterson was the guest artist for the Spring Dance Concert. She is a 2016 WHRHS graduate and Dance Ensemble Alumnae, who is now pursuing her degree in Dance Education with a minor in Writing Studies at Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y. Her sister, Katherine, is a senior this year at WHRHS, and is a dancer and choreographer with the Dance Ensemble.

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The older Paterson has choreographed three works that have been performed in Hofstra’s Student Rep shows. Paterson is on the eboard for Hofstra Dance Education Club, T’DAA. She danced in a number of the dances at the Spring Dance Concert, and choreographed the closing number of the first half of the concert, “Home Again,” featuring the dramatic and iconic PinkFloyd song “Time,” from “Dark Side of the Moon.”

“I am so happy to have been invited back to Watchung Hills, and would like to thank my amazing dancers for all their hard work,” Paterson said.

The Dance Ensemble Seniors and their future plans are: KateyBerger, Dance Minor, University of Rochester; Michelle Du, Dance Club, Georgetown University; Julia Fullowan, New York University; Camryn Graf, Montclair University; Melissa Hertzberg, Dance Club, Lehigh University; Marissa Miller, Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) Major, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College; Eliana Nuwirth, Dance Club, University of Maryland; Alison Pasquel, Raritan Valley Community College; Katherine Paterson, Dance Club, Pace University; Nicole Samaniego, exploring options; Gillian Santos, Dance Club, Hofstra University; Tori Sen, Dance Minor, Fordham University; and Nicole Vila, Dance and Theater Club, Fordham University.

Members of the National Honors Society for Dance Arts: KateyBerger, Michelle Du, Melissa Hertzberg, Alexandria Mancini, Allison Manspeizer, Victoria Pantagis, and Aayushima Patel.

Several dance students have had notable achievements outside of WHRHS. Katherine Paterson’s choreography, “Body Love,” was performed at the New Jersey High School Dance Festival showcase, where her piece received glowing feedback. Victoria Pantagis attended this past summer the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Moscow, Russia. Emma Kotar attended New Jersey School of Ballet Summer Intensive.

Others on the production staff were: Technical Director and Light Board Operator Chris Valenti, Video Technical Director and Lead Audio Engineer Nick Bayachek, Stage Manager A.J. (Alexander) Martins, and Poster Design Gillian Santos. On the Light Board was Adam Noble, and on the Audio Engineering Board was Michael Maloney.

The Program’s 21 Numbers

The 21 numbers for the Spring Dance Concert were:

“Identity,” choreographed by Camryn Graf. Music, “She Used To Be Mine,” by Sara Bareilles. Dancers: Katey Berger, Jenna Hansen, Mallory Helmes, Olivia Kider, Noelle Kulisz, Sabrina Lane, Ally Manspeizer, Lauren Ng, Alyssa Ostry, AayushmaPatel, Carissa Putruele, Brianna Robinson, Gillian Santos.

“Complete,” choreographed and performed by Marissa Miller. Music “For Blue Skies,” by Strays Don’t Sleep.”

“Dynamite,” choreographed by Carissa Putruele. Music,“Dynamite,” by Sigrid. Dancers: Katey Berger, Kelli Comitni, Julia Fullowan, Mallory Helmes, Olivia Kider, Sabrina Lane, Ally Manspeizer, Gabrielle Rodriguez, and Gillian Santos.

“Shake It Out,” choreographed by Sabrina Lane. Music, “Shake it out,” by Florence + The Machine. Dancers: Katey Berger, Kayla Chun, Camryn Graf, Mallory Helmes, Alyssa Ostry, Carissa Putruele, Brianna Robinson, and Ariana Stoddard.

“Rituals of the Burning Pyre,” choreographed by Julia Piela. Music, “The Braying Mule,” by Ennio Morricone. Dancers: Michelle Du, Sabrina Lane, Lauren Ng, Kat Paterson, Carissa Puturele, Gabrielle Rodriguez, Gillian Santos and Tori Sen.

“1-800-273-8255,” choreographed by Aly Manspeizer. Music, “1-800-273-8255,” by Logic, Cara and Khalid, Power by Kanye West. Dancers: Katey Berger, Jen Cagno, Brianna Casas, Camryn Graf, Mallory Helmes, Melissa Hertzberg, Maria Irvin, Sabrina Lane, Daria Monti, Eliana Neuwirth, Aayushma Patel, Nicole Samaniego, Gillian Santos, Jaemi Spaven and Arianna Stoddard.

“Soon,” choreographed by Michelle Du. Music, “Myth,” by Tsar B. Dancers: Maria Irvin, Raina Kansagra, Olivia Kider, Emma Kotar, Noelle Kulisz, Ally Manspeizer, Marissa Miller, Gianna Olivapotenza, Aayushma Patel, Kat Peterson, Allison Pasquel, Gabrielle Rodriguez, Alexis Rokosny, Jaemi Spaven, and Nicole Vila.

“Triple Threat,” choreographed by Elianna Neuwirth. Music: “Core,” by RL Grime, “Dum Dum,” by Baauer, “Spaceman,” by Hardwell, “Roller,” by Yellow Claw. Dancers: Marissa Miller, Elianna Neuwirth, and Gabrielle Rodriguez.

“Withdrawals…,” choreographed by Tori Sen. Music, “Bloodstream,” by Stateless. Dancers: Hollace Chase, Michelle Du, Camryn Graf, Jenna Hansen, Olivia Hu, Abby Kotar, Julia Piela, Sam Sinnott, Jaemi Spaven, and Arianna Stoddard.

“Until It Ends,” choreographed by Gillian Santos. Music, “All Through the Night,” by Sleeping at Last. Dancers: Sara Barrientos, Brianna Casas, Camryn Graf, Maria Irvin, Raina Kansagra, Ally Manspeizer, Gianna Olivapotenza, AayushmiPatel, Alexis Rokosny and Nicole Vila.

“Home Again,” choreographed by Anna Paterson. Rehearsed by Annanda Pagenkopf. Music, “Time,” by Pink Floyd. Dancers: Katey Berger, Katherine Paterson, Carissa Putruele, Julia Piela, Gillian Santos, and Jaemi Spaven.

“Sangre Latina,” choreographed by Alison Pasquel and Julia Fullowan. Music, “Preso,” by The Latin Brothers. Dancers: Brianna Casas, Hollace Chase, Julia Fullowan, Melissa Hertzberg, Raina Kansagra, Sabrina Lane, Eliana Neuwirth, Victoria Pantagis, Kat Paterson, Julia Piela, Nicole Samaniego, and Tori Sen.

“Verisimilitude,” choreographed by Victoria Pantagis. Music, “Slip,” by Elliot Moss. Dancers: Mallory Helmes, Sabrina Lane, Ally Manspeizer, Aayushma Patel, Carissa Putruele, Brianna Robinson, and Alexis Rokosny.

“Just Breathe,” choreographed by Arianna Stoddard. Music, “Forevermore,” by Channing Space. Dancers: Jen Cagno, Julia Celeste, Abby Kotar, Marissa Miller, Lauren Ng, and Victoria Pantagis. 

“3:08 AM,” choreographed by Jaemi Spaven. Music, “All Alone,” by Gorillaz. Dancers: Sara Barrientos, Brianna Casas, Noelle Kulisz, Ally Manspeizer, Gianna Olivapotenza, Allison Pasquel, Brianna Robinson, and Ariana Stoddard.

“You’re Not Alone,” choreographed and performed by Jen Cagno and Katey Berger. Music, “The Lonely,” by Christina Perri.

“Angel of Small Death,” choreographed by Emma Kotar. Music, “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene,” by Hozier. Dancers: Katey Berger, Michelle Du, Abby Kotar, Noelle Kulisz, Daria Monti, Lauren Ng, Alyssa Ostry, Brianna Robinson, Gillian Santos and Arianna Stoddard.

“Mr. Redundant,” choreographed and performed by Alyssa Ostry. Music, “Seven + Mary,” by Rainbow Kitten Surprise.

“Senior Dance,” choreographed by Annanda Pagenkopf and Senior Students. Music, “Just Dancing,” by Sylvan Esso. Dancers: Katey Berger, Michelle Du, Julia Fullowan, Camryn Graf, Melissa Hertzberg, Marissa Miller, Eliana Neuwirth, Allison Pasquel, Kat Paterson, Nicole Sameniego, Gillian Santos, Tori Sen and Nicole Vila.

“Cosmic Love,” choreographed by Nicole Vila. Music, “Cosmic Love,” by Florence + The Machine. Dancers: Nicole Vila and Julia Fullowan.

“Reflection,” choreographed by Katherine Paterson. Music, “A1,” by Olafur Arnalds. Dancers: Katey Berger, Sara Barrientos, Jen Cagno, Brianna Casas, Julia Celeste, Kelli Commitini, Jenna Hansen, Mallory Helmes, Olivia Hu, Olivia Kider, Abby Kotar, Emma Kotar, Noelle Kulisz, Sabrina Lane, Ally Manspeizer, Marissa Miller, Lauren Ng, Eliana Neuwirth, Gianna Olivapotenza, Alyssa Ostry, Victoria Pantagis, Carissa Putruele, Nicole Samaniego, Gillian Santos, Jaemi Spaven, and Ariana Stoddard.



WHRHS CAPTIONS 2018 Spring Dance Concert



Student Dancers and Choreographers in the Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Dance Ensemble raise their arms in triumph moments after the closing number, “Reflection,” at the 2018 Spring Dance Concert, Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12, in the school’s Performing Arts Center (PAC).The vast majority of the numbers were also  choreographed by these dancers.


WHRHS PHOTOS Dance Ensemble Advisor

WHRHS Dance Department Educator Annanda Pagenkopf, far right, who is the Dance Ensemble Advisor, hold a bouquet of flowers given her by the student dancers. She also choreographed the number, “Senior Dance,” rehearsed the participants in the number, Home Again,” and was the Spring Dance Concert’s Lighting Designer.


WHRHS PHOTOS Dance Seniors

The Spring Dance Concert’s program listed the future plans of the Dance Ensemble Seniors.  They are: Kneeling, from left, Nicole Samaniego, Julia Fullowan, Kat Paterson, Katey Berger, Michelle Du, and Gillian Santos; and standing, from left, Marissa Miller, Alison Pasquel, Eliana Neuwirth, Camryn Graf, Tori Sen, Melissa Herteberg, and Nicole Vila.


WHRHS PHOTOS Home Again ‘Time’

“Home Again,” which was choreographed by Guest Artist and 2016 Dance Ensemble alumna Anna Paterson, featured the dynamic music of the iconic Pink Floyd hit, “Time.” The student dancers for the number are: Front row, from left, Kat Paterson, Katey Berger, Michelle Du, and Carissa Petruele; and back row, Melissa Herteberg, Noelle Kulisz, Emma Kotar, and JaemiSpaven.


WHRHS PHOTOS Light Board Stage manager

Students also had a living learning experience at the Spring Dance Concert by developing their technical skills on the production staff. Among them are:  Adam Noble, left, on the Audio Engineering Board, and A.J. (Alexander) Martins, both sophomores, who was the Stage Manager.


WHRHS PHOTOS Audio Engineer Maloney

Senior Michael Maloney picked up some valuable experience at the Spring Dance Concert through his contribution to the performance at the Audio Board.


WHRHS PHOTOS Tickets Barrientos Pantagis

Student Dancers Sara Barrientos, left, and Victoria Pantagis, both juniors, also helped with House Management by welcoming concert-goers at the Ticket desk.


WHRHS PHOTOS Ushers Monti Kotar

Student Dancers junior Daria Monti, left, and sophomore Abby Kotar also helped with House Management as ushers.


WHRHS PHOTOS Volunteer Mancini

Senior Alex Mancini attended the Spring Dance Concert as volunteer, happy to help with various chores. She is a former member of the Dance Ensemble, who earned membership in the National Honors Society for Dance Arts last year as a junior and this year as a senior. Others earning membership in the Dance Honor Society this year are Katey Berger, Michele Du, Melissa Hertzberg, Allison Manspeizer, Victoria Pantagis and Asyushima Patel.




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