Revisions: a dazzling display of student talent



Seniors Masha Gerashchenko, Oliver Slayton and Ana Martino (left to right) perform to Adele’s “Water Under the Bridge” at Revisions. Revisions, a student performing arts variety show, took place on Saturday Dec. 4

Center stage. A spotlight descends from above, illuminating the silhouette of a figure, casting shadows along the floor and highlighting the high points of an impeccably procured pose. Revisions, a student variety show, tore my gaze away from my reporter’s notebook with the first beat of the opening act.

On Saturday, Dec. 4, students spanning from acapella groups to dancers to independent songwriters stepped into Dance Studio 1. Revisions is an annual event organized by the Performing Arts department. The performers all showcased remarkable talent and dedication to their craft, combining their talents to curate an immensely engaging show from start to finish.

Junior Dina Naimark-Goldberg and sophomore Rena Branover commenced the show with a lyrical, acro duet to “ilomilo” by Billie Eilish. Both sporting simple black leggings and tank tops, they drew my attention to the extension of their legs and arms to tell the story of a fear of losing someone.

A moment that sticks with me even now was when Eilish’s voice became robotic. This was done through a bombardment of vocal effects. The dancers spun seemingly endlessly in perfect unison as Eilish held the note. The contrasting nature of their fluidity while they spun and the choppy vocals was stupefying. With Naimark-Goldberg’s strut towards the audience with a fierce and focused look in her eyes, I felt like I was being pulled into a back and forth between a relationship that was struggling to stay together.

The first singing performance of the night was an expertly crafted rendition of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” by acapella group Perfect Pitch. This was a perfect choice for soloist junior Yael Sheffer’s deep alto, accented by a luscious rasp that mirrored Winehouse’s original take but with a youthful twist. Perfect Pitch Leader and senior Emma Farrer said the group tries to keep a pop or indie sound when performing, and I could see those genres peeking through the R&B and reggae influence of Winehouse’s original tone. The harmonies during the bridge rang behind Sheffer’s repeated “Black, black, black” were stunning.

Who doesn’t love Queen? With senior Oliver Slayton’s jazz dance to “Body Language,” any stragglers who may have answered “me” to that question were proven wrong. My favorite part of the dance happened when Slayton was sitting on their ankles with their head facing the ground. When the drum hit with an accompanying trumpet, Slayton sank further into the floor, opening their knees and throwing their head towards the ceiling- it was unexpected yet sure and strident. It went perfectly with the tone of the song. It brought about a few whistles and cheers from the audience, a completely warranted reaction- such sass!

The most memorable moment of the night was sophomore Sean O’Halloran’s original song “June 31st.” O’Halloran walked timidly up towards the spotlight with nothing but a ukulele in hand. But something about how he cleared his throat into the mic excited me. On the edge of my seat in anticipation, O’Halloran strummed out his bright and youthful chord progression and began to sing. I was instantly transfixed by his voice. Something about it reminded me of an early 2000s rock band, plenty of whine and angst, but something else too.

His voice carried about it a semblance of longing and nostalgia, one that can’t be described through words. While the composition and vocals were solid on their own, his lyricism was particularly advanced. I would have never guessed a high-schooler wrote it. With lines like “See you again on June 31st” and “You and I will live another life,” another blanket of nostalgia was added onto the piece, wrapping it up in a feeling of summer and love at the end of the world.

A variety show is one of the most engaging displays of art, as each performance offers a different perspective, style and experience. I look forward to going next year and seeing how times have changed and influenced what people are feeling and therefore performing. Saturday night at Revisions was one well spent, and I felt honored to witness such talent in the basement of the Tappan building.