Fortuna brings flare to the stage
Senior Eurythmic dancer creates variety, creativity through choreography
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Imagine stepping into the Eurythmic Dance Company’s rehearsal as a seventh grade dancer and assisting the high school team complete choreography for the big show. Well, this is just what Julianne Fortuna ‘17 did when older sister Allison Fortuna ‘13 felt at a loss for inspiration. This marked her Eurythmics debut and the beginning of a successful career with the company. Since then she’s been performing, choreographing and stunning crowds with her amazing ability.
“A dancer’s instrument is their body, and she knows how to allow that to make the best movement possible,” Eurythmics director Terry Wethington said. “She has a nice blend of simplicity and gesture with technique.”
Fortuna began dancing at age 3 at Impact Dance Studio and eventually transferred to Visceral Dance Chicago in fourth grade. She took up the hobby in an attempt to be more like her older sister, but it has since become a passion of her own. To her, the joy came from performing.
“I love being on stage and being able to perform,” Fortuna said. “Performance is kind of rare. We have rehearsals all the time but you can only perform every once in a while so you got to give it your all.”
This work ethic is something especially observable in Fortuna, Wethington said, describing her as more of a silent leader. After leaving Visceral after her freshman year, Fortuna instead set her focus on Eurythmics and her true passion in dance, choreography. Choreography wasn’t something she was able to do with Visceral, but her incredible ability to create a variety of movement is her true strength, Wethington said.
“I often say that the pleasure of the joy of dancing comes through the hard work, and you can tell how that’s when [Fortuna’s] most happy, when she’s actually working hard.” Wethington said.
Past year’s themes have been Dynamism and Epic, however this year’s theme is titled One. This being Wethington’s last show as a director before retiring, he feels as though the idea of One embodies the final one, the finale, and the feeling of one event. The inspiration came from a quote of his from a 1993 Tabulae yearbook where Wethington said that Eurthmics is more than one dancer, one company, one concert.
Fortuna has choreographed a dance in each show she has participated in, including a piece she worked on with current Eurythmics president Lauren Mochizuki ’17 her junior year. This piece, titled “Light Refused to Go,” placed them in the Illinois High School State Student Showcase. Mochizuki and Fortuna will be choreographing three more dances for this year’s show.
“It’s a really positive and collaborative process and we always snowball ideas off each other,” Mochizuki said. “It’s really hard to think of choreography, but I feel like we draw a lot of creativity out of each other.”
Mochizuki is hoping for a very versatile show with a variety of dances based on traditional, political, Latin, and African themes. Performing dates will be May 11-13. The show will symbolize an exciting end to an exciting career for both Fortuna and Mochizuki, but also a sad goodbye to one of their favorite passions and some of their best friends.
For Fortuna, her future in dance is unclear. Wethington, however, feels certain that dance will forever be a significant part of her life.
“One of the best compliments anyone can receive is that you have style,” Wethington said. “I think Julianne’s starting to develop her own choreographic style, and I’m starting to see things that make it her, it’s unique to her, and it’s not copying or regurgitating anything else. You look at it and think, oh, that’s a Tuna, and that’s really cool.”