Arts & Culture

Attitude’s high-energy show integrates varied dance styles

The spring show aims to engage audience members with props and live instruments

By
Staff Writer
Friday, April 5, 2013

Attitude collaborated with imPulse Dance Company, an orchestra and a vocalist to put on this semester’s show. The 22-member dance company includes male dancers for the first time in recent years.

Attitude Dance Company’s ninth annual spring show premieres tonight with a colorful and successful display that highlights both the diverse talent of the dancers and student-choreographers and advanced multimedia work.

The show features several different styles of dance including jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and performances with cultural influences. This variety comprises constantly shifting music, costumes and lighting, all of which help keep the audience engaged and entertained.

The dance company, founded in 2004, is one of the younger troupes on Brown’s campus, but that has not stopped its members from trying new performance elements and pushing limits with challenging choreography.

In the show, the company innovates through collaborations, props and music, all of which add to the performance.

“We’re doing a lot of collaborations this year,” Attitude co-director Hyunwoo Choo ’13 said. “This year is our second (collaboration) with imPulse Dance Company, there’s going to be an orchestra and a vocalist, and we’re using a lot more props.”

The addition of imPulse dancers to one of the pieces enhances the number’s storyline and helps transition to the second half of the show.

The live music adds another dimension to the pieces.

“I think people will be very surprised by the instruments right in front of them,” said co-director Susan Trinh ’13. “When we’re creating the order of the show, we think about the audience and what they’re feeling and want to provide them with an experience that they might not see every day.”

Attitude also integrates a series of creative props into the show. A traditional Chinese cultural work choreographed by co-director Rosemary Le ’13 incorporates sparkling fans, while a contemporary piece centers around a swath of gauze, which the dancers move in and out of. The props ensnare the audience’s attention from the first beats of the pieces and provide a sense of continuity during the numbers.

Lady Gaga — whose “Americano” is featured in a work with vibrant flamenco skirts — is only one of the variety of artists featured in Attitude’s show.

“Since we keep it open for our dancers to choose whatever they want to dance (to), the music ranges along with it,” Trinh said. While the well-known tracks establish a tone from the beginning of the piece, lesser-known tracks add elements of surprise to the dances.

The 22-person dance company stuck to the theme of innovation this year by admitting its first two male dancers in recent years. Despite the founder of Attitude being male, the group has remained all female for the last several years.

“We have never been intentionally exclusively female. This is the first year that it happened that boys joined the group,” Choo said.

“When we were first talking about letting (male dancers) in, there was a lot of discussion about how that would change the dynamic of the group,” Trinh added. “But they fit right in.”

The two male dancers add another layer of depth to many of the pieces by bringing variation and a certain strength. Along with the male element, creative lighting and captivating choreography make the full company pieces — in which all of the company members are on stage — some of the most entertaining in the show.

The lengths of performances vary, which means the audience must watch carefully to catch  the intricate details in the shorter pieces. But the variation in length keeps the two-hour show from seeming overly long.

The shows will take place tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Alumnae Hall. Tickets are on sale for $5 in J. Walter Wilson until 2 p.m. today and will be available at the door for $7.

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