Friday, May 8, 2015


Our show opens tonight at 8 pm on the Mainstage at the Rio Grande Campus! Faculty works as well as student choreography will be presented in the Choreographers' Showcase.

Alyssa Cañas is choreographing for the ACC showcase for the very first time. Originally from Victoria, TX, Alyssa followed her family to Austin. She is currently pursuing her Associate of Arts in Dance and plans to transfer to a four-year university for a dance degree.

Alyssa supporting Dawn Roberts in a lift during dress rehearsal.

Have you choreographed before ACC?

I did some choreography for drill team but this is very different. I'm used to tricks and dance moves and Darla challenged me to really use movement. It was a good experience.

Did you have a concept for your piece?

Yeah, I kept going back to the journey that we have. People go through their lives and have all these moments and memories. Those moments become great memories and years later you finally look back... The piece is really about how fast life goes; so many people don't take the time to appreciate life. 

Alyssa during Only the Winds

You use a quote from American Beauty to describe your piece, how did you discover the quote?

Darla gave us an article (from the New York Times) about three weeks ago and I shared it with my sister. She wrote the quote on the article and I ended up sharing that with the class. 

How did you decide to do a duet?

Originally it was a trio, but you know, things happen. I actually always imagined it as a duet, but Darla wanted to challenge me to try it as a trio and then it turned out as a duet anyway.
Me and Dawn are individuals that go through life and meet in the middle. We could be best friends or complete strangers, but it's memorable. When you meet someone, you never forget them.

Dawn Roberts in Alyssa's Only the Winds

If you had one thing for the audience to takeaway, what would it be?

Realize how fast life is and take the time to breathe - appreciate life. 

Alyssa Cañas is one of seven students from Darla Johnson's Dance Composition class presenting new work at the Choreographers' Showcase. Join us tonight and tomorrow at 8 pm on the Mainstage at the Rio Grande Campus. Tickets available at the door; $5 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission. 

Photography by Anne Wharton.

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