Cianna Vo, junior, placed second in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition this past Saturday, winning over $5,000 in scholarship money along with the “I Award” for having the most “Imaginative, Inspired and Inventive act.”
Vo performed a contemporary dance. Rather than using music, Vo performed to Maya Angelou’s poem “A Brave and Startling Truth.”
The school got a preview of Vo’s talent during the All-Write Festival where she performed the piece. Vo’s passion for dance and the message of Angelou’s poem were evident in her performance.Vo’s contemporary piece performed to spoken word was powerful, meaningful and moving.
Vo has been dancing since she was two years old. She referred to herself as having been a “rambunctious” child, so her mother thought she should try dance. Vo has been dancing ever since.
“When people say, ‘Dance is life,’ they mean it,” said Vo, talking about her schedule, which includes over 20 hours of dance a week.
Not only does she dance, Vo also choreographs. She does not plan on dancing as a career but plans to continue to dance and instruct.
Vo has to make many sacrifices in order to continue her busy dance schedule, but says it is worth it.
“My favorite part of dance is getting to be on stage and getting to show the message of the piece and having people feel that message,” Vo said.
“A Brave and Startling Truth” expressed the dynamics of the universe’s function and people’s roles as humans. The pairing of Vo’s strong and flowing contemporary dance and Angelou’s insightful and empowering words was one to move the audience.
“With all the beauty in the world like landscapes and buildings and the history, it’s our job to restore the beauty in things,” Vo said.
One of her goals while performing is to evoke emotion, and Vo wanted to connect the poem to harsh global events occurring in our society today.
“…It’s our responsibility and as people to make it [the world] a better place,” Vo said.
Through her performance Vo was able to give a visual to Angelou’s poem.
In “A Brave and Startling Truth,” Angelou says, “We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world That is when and only when We come to it.”