Opening a Door to Dance

by Claire McNamara '09

Sydney Freggiaro, far right, plans a dance drama with students from The Claremont Colleges.

It’s hard to describe Sydney Freggiaro ’09 with just a few adjectives. Dynamic and verging on stubborn, Sydney can knock you over with the sheer force of her determination. Now, in her junior year, she has established herself as a beloved science tutor, drill sergeant of a kick-boxing instructor, double molecular biology and dance major, and choreographer.

Making use of the freedom and encouragement the Scripps dance department has given her, Sydney recently tackled a project more involved than the average senior dance thesis. She wanted to present something new to The Claremont Colleges, specifically created and put into production by students. What she had in mind was a “dance drama,” which, according to Sydney, is like a Broadway show, but replaces the singing with great dancing.

The result: Students from The Claremont Colleges performed The Doors of Perception last fall, an hour-long show of 12 vignettes adapted and choreographed by Sydney. Using poetry by Jim Morrison of The Doors as a frame for discussion through movement and speech of many prevalent cultural themes, the show included music from The Doors and well-known current bands, as well as some undiscovered artists. “I wanted this project to be about rejuvenation and inclusion,” Freggiaro said. “We had students from all over the 5-C’s dancing, acting, fundraising, and helping advertise.” The performances were held in the Broad Performance Space on the Pitzer campus, as there was no available space at Scripps.

Sydney once flippantly claimed she came to Scripps because of the oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies at the Motley Coffeehouse and because her father wanted her to. Now, Sydney has come to appreciate the benefits of Scripps’ intimate liberal arts setting, which has allowed her to achieve her academic goals and pursue her creative drive. With help from Scripps dance faculty, Sydney has been given the critical support, fundraising advice, and encouragement to manage and construct a show all her own, proving herself a true independent Scripps woman.

Above: Sydney Freggiaro, far right, plans a dance drama with students from The Claremont Colleges.


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