The University Dance Company’s performance on Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 was an interesting program that worked as a synthesis of various dance styles. The students involved were from different stages in their technique, which made it especially exciting to watch them perform a sufficient amount of challenging material. The program consisted of six different ensemble performances entitled: “Ever Free”, “Breaking Point”, “Emerald Pools”, “Emoticons”, “Circulo de Mujeres”, and “House of Blues”. During the program, the use of the entire stage along with lighting and costumes was particularly remarkable. Because there were so many performances on the program, many students had the opportunity to be involved in differing capacities. In summary, the whole performance was entertaining, but there are some improvements that could be made to the first number.
The first piece of the night was entitled, “Ever Free”—which is a play on the words of the title of the closing piece in this performance from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, which is called “Sempre Libera”. The piece was well done, but could have benefitted from more diversity in regards to the dancers, movements, and use of the stage. As in La Traviata, the male dancers were costumed in old-fashioned suits of the time period, while the female dancers were in flowing tea-length silk gowns in different colors. The women were the primary focus in this number, while the role of the male dancers was mostly that of lifters and partners for the ballroom dances. The piece began with a single male dancer on stage that is then approached by a female dancer and thus begins the ballroom scene, which fits the story of La Traviata with the piece Libiamo ne’lieti calici playing in the background. Th...
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...n, one improvement that could have been made to catch the audience’s attention, would be that the male dancers had more involvement. On the other hand, the use of the music from La Traviata in conjunction with the scenery of the ballroom and the plot was attention-grabbing and enjoyable. The endurance of the female dancers was also impressive as they often leaped and turned, especially in pointe shoes. Furthermore, the placement of “Ever Free” next to “Breaking Point” was effective, wonderfully shocking, and showed a nice contrast between ballet and modern dance. Lastly, the contrast of pastel gowns in “Ever Free” was eye-catching against simple black and basic primary colors of “Breaking Point”. The University Dance Company performance was well done, but could benefit from a few tweaks in choreography, student involvement, and energy in the faces of the performers.
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