Hazel Lever '13

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Hazel Lever is one of the most incredible choreographers we have ever seen.  Between Wonderful Town, The Ballet Company, Eleganza, Cabaret, and so much more, Hazel is a superstar and we want to tell you why!

First, the basics! Tell us a little about yourself -- where are you from, what do you study, and what do you enjoy doing in your free time?  

 

I'm originally from Spartanburg, SC!  I study History & Science, with a secondary in Global Health/Health Policy and a Spanish Language Citation, and I'm pre-med.  In my free time, I spend way too much time on feminist blogs, buzzfeed, and, ideally, laying on the couch with my dog.

What are some of the extracurricular activities you are involved with on campus?  

I dance and choreography, and I served on the board of Harvard Ballet Company for three years.  I also am a Peer Contraceptive Counselor and am Co-President Emeritus of Sexual Health Education and Advocacy throughout Harvard College (SHEATH), the student group that organizes Sex Week at Harvard.

What are your plans for this summer?

I received an Artistic Development Fellowship from the Office for the Arts to attend Bates Dance Festival in Maine.  I'll be studying dance technique and choreography, while also getting to work with the various companies in residency.

So, tell us about the choreographing! How did you start doing it and how long have you been choreographing?

I actually had no idea when I arrived as a freshman that I wanted to choreograph - I was a bun-headed ballerina through and through.  After getting to work with several student choreographers, I became interested in trying it myself.  I started with a few class projects and choreographing in a January Arts Intensive with Liz Lerman's Dance Exchange.  I fell into choreographing musicals when my blockmate happened to be friends with the producer of Hair, who recruited me even though I'd never done anything like it before.  It was a leap of faith that turned into a happy accident.
 
What have you choreographed here at Harvard and what has been your favorite project to work on?
  
I've choreographed pieces for Harvard Ballet Company and musicals for Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, including Hair (Loeb Ex), Cabaret (Loeb Ex), and Wonderful Town (Loeb Mainstage).  I also scene directed and choreographed for Eleganza 2013, a BlackCAST charity fashion show.  I am a Spring 2013 Harvard Dance Program Emerging Choreographer to work on my original show At Last, occurring now in the Loeb Ex. 
 
 
I don't know if I can pick a favorite - they all bring such unique challenges.  I always enjoy whatever project pushes me out of my comfort zone.  And, of course, getting to work with such diverse, talented dancers and performers is incredibly rewarding.
 
Where are you going to be next year?
 
 I'm going to be in New York City next year, working as a CPIC Fellow in the National Quality Center of the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute.  I also plan on dancing and choreographing with alumni in the area.
 
What are the most meaningful things you've taken away from 
choreographing?
On a basic level, it's so exciting to see something in your head and then see it go onstage for others to enjoy.Choreographing is such a unique creative process - translating experiences into movement, into a language of bodies.  I love creating these new vocabularies with which to express various realities.

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About The Author

Amanda is a member of the class of 2014 at Harvard from Connecticut, pursuing a degree in English with a secondary in Government and a citation in Spanish. When she is not planning her next trip, she can be found hidden in the back of a coffee shop working on her novel. Amanda is passionate about singing, theater, travel, and her family and is so excited to be working with Her Campus!