With groups drawing from sources as diverse as Oscar Wilde, haiku, urban street culture and Bollywood, Ashamu Dance Studio was enlivened by a wide range of dance styles and rhythms at the Fall Dance Concert last night.
The annual concert was presented by Body and Sole and featured performances by dance companies including Attitude Dance Company, imPulse, MEZCLA and Fusion.
The program of student-choreographed dance rotated high-energy hip-hop routines with mellower, soulful pieces that struck a captivating balance.
The program began with the sharp moves of Attitude, a group that lived up to its name. Their piece, “Maneater,” featured a fierce dance-off that slowly melded into a synchronized ensemble piece.
The company continued to showcase its extensive repertoire later in the program with two more pieces. Dressed in black suspenders and crisp white shirts, the group paid tribute to one of their favorite pop stars in “If Ya Nasty: An Homage to Janet Jackson.” Their last piece, doused in red light and set to Pink’s “Long Way to Happy,” was a heartfelt conclusion to Attitude’s performances.
Fusion injected a dose of edginess into the concert with “Void” and “Alleyways,” two modern dance pieces that explored themes of desperation, anger and death. “Alleyways,” in particular, examined feelings of fear in urban society, as members clad in hip-hop clothing danced frantically to the electronic rock music of the band Kasabian.
Groups such as MEZCLA, Raqs Sharqi and Badmaash added a touch of global flavor. MEZCLA members executed a precise salsa routine, while belly dancing group Raqs Sharqi mesmerized spectators with ornate costumes and impressive abdominal muscle control.
South Asian group Badmaash, a group name that translates to “trouble-maker,” incorporated a humorous standstill into its dance, referencing a recent competition in which officials prematurely cut off the group’s music, according to the event’s program.
In contrast to these vigorous routines, many groups chose to execute subtler pieces. “Inviscidity,” performed by Dance Extension members Victoria Fortuna ’07.5 and Maggie Mustard ’07, was one of the concert’s memorable highlights. According to the program, the dance was inspired by designs in a mechanics textbook and included elements drawn from “tornados, whirlpools, and drains.” Blanche Greene-Cramer ’07 choreographed moves that kept the dancers feeding off each other. Their symbiotic relationship truly created a sense of swirling, downward motion.
Other pieces from Dance Extension included “Infidel,” an expressive two-person dance set to Jamie Cullum’s music. They also performed “Surfaces,” a larger piece in which members constantly push each other away, perhaps commenting on the difficulty of forging meaningful connections with others.
This theme was mirrored in imPulse’s performance of “All in a Way,” as its members also struggled to form relationships with one another.
Dancers from “What’s on Tap?” also performed in the concert, adding a touch of class with a routine set to singer Talib Kweli’s “Love Language,” and the Brown Capoiera Team capped off the night with an energetic samba performance.
Overall, this year’s Fall Dance Concert showcased a wide range of dance styles operating on campus, and its performers displayed an enthusiasm for movement that became more contagious as the night progressed.
The concert will be performed again today and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ashamu Dance Studio. Tickets are available in the Leeds Theater Box Office for $5.