By Leila Dall’Olmo ’20 and Georgia Gerber ’20
Daniel Novikov ’21: Breakdancer
Leila Dall’Olmo ‘20
Daniel Novikov ‘21 believes breakdancing is a great way to express yourself, and he tries to incorporate dancing into his life as much as he can.
“I like to dance everywhere in my everyday life. I dance at parties. I dance at weddings. I dance anywhere I want to, with anyone I want to,” Novikov said.
Starting at a young age, Novikov joined a dance team and competed at events all across the city. He said he enjoyed the sense of freedom dancing gave him.
“I started dancing when I was three because I really liked it, and I liked to move my body. Dancing lets me express myself and feel alive,” Novikov said.
In competitive dance, there are rivalries between teams, even at such a young age. Novikov’s team had always come in first before another team came along.
“My team always used to win first, until Kida the Great, this dancer with one million followers on Instagram, started dancing for the other team. That’s when we started getting second place,” Novikov explained.
Although Novikov no longer competes with a team outside of school, he still takes classes at school and intends to continue next year.
“I take dance at school now, and next year I’ll either be taking Contemporary Dance Workshop II or hopefully, Dance Production,” Novikov said.
A requirement for Dance Production is having to choreograph a solo dance, which he is not worried about.
“I always choreograph my own dances, as I did in this year’s Contemporary Dance Workshop Showcase,” Novikov said.
One of Novikov’s dance teacher at school, Melissa Schade, said she believes Daniel has a positive attitude towards dance and truly enjoys it.
“Daniel is very gung ho about dance. He is a natural mover, and I think as long as it’s in the freestyle range, he goes all out,” Schade said.
No matter where Novikov ends up dancing next year, he is excited to continue his passion and have as much fun as he possibly can along the way.
“[When I dance] I feel free, like a bird let out of it cage spreading its wings, and that’s the best feeling there could ever be,” Novikov said.
Alexa Druyanoff ’22: Illustrator
By Georgia Gerber ’20
Even at 13 years old, Alexa Druyanoff ‘22 has already turned her passion for art into pieces that are seen by many all over the world. ,mDruyanoff creates cover art for the music of Danny Belgrad ‘13.
“[Belgrad] makes songs and then has ideas, so he sends me photos he wants the art to relate to or to look like. Then, I draw that and he gives me critiques on what to do differently or what to add,” Druyanoff said.
Druyanoff’s love for art came at a young age. She started art classes when she was four, at the studio she still practices in today. At first, art was just a hobby, but it later became a passion.
“When I first started, art was just something I liked to do. Now, it is my passion. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, and I started instructional art classes just before I turned four. I’m inspired by artists like Botticelli, Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet and people like Kenny Scharf and animators,” Druyanoff said.
When creating a piece of art, Druyanoff likes to use creativity to blur the lines of reality and imagination.
“My art style and what I like to draw are sort of whimsical. I find it interesting to combine real nature, rock formations or places with non-living, animated cartoon characters or animals. It’s almost like giving them an alternative life, and it also brings out the fun in art for me. I want to make people intrigued while smiling or finding my work amusing,“ Druyanoff said.
The covers she creates are put onto SoundCloud along with the songs created by Belgrad. Druyanoff describes the music as “indie-rock.”
“For Danny’s art, I have to find a different rhythm. It’s less playful, and I have to connect with what his vision is, his examples and the mood of each song. I really enjoy the idea of connecting art with music, and I now experiment with drawing to the beat of songs. It’s nice to have almost like an internal monologue to each picture,” Druyanoff said.
Belgrad spoke about his experience working with Alexa.
“Alexa has always astounded me. She’s remarkably intuitive and has a rare ability to capture and express emotions with clarity while also being quite visionary within her artwork. She makes the transition from music to artwork so fluid, and I consider myself very very lucky to have her as a creative partner,” Belgrad said.
Druyanoff has been creating art for Section, the name under which Belgrad’s music is released, for almost two years. She hopes to continue doing it in the future.
“My dreams with any aspect of art in them consist of being a set designer, animator or inspirational artist,” Druyanoff said.