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Dancers display versatility in annual show

Fusion Dance Company celebrated its 30th anniversary with a range of styles and visual effects

Hip-hop, ballet, contemporary and jazz — as well as a few zombies — all found a place at Fusion Dance Company’s 30th annual spring show last weekend.

Fusion — Brown’s oldest dance company — was started by Paula Franklin ’86 in 1983. Franklin “decided that there was need for more student choreography on campus,” according to Fusion’s Facebook page. For the past 30 years, Fusion has upheld her vision of giving Brown “a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic group of both men and women who perform a variety of dance styles.”

In the spirit of that philosophy, Fusion put together a spring show of emotional contemporary pieces, sassy hip-hop numbers, tongue-in-cheek ballet routines and everything in between. The hour and 45 minute show consisted of 18 completely student-choreographed works.

“Everyone in the company was included in the choreography in some way,” said Company Manager Nathan Weinberger ’13. “(This show) is a really good example of what dance can be … Whether you like dance, whether you don’t, it’s enjoyable for everyone.”

The performances ranged from solos to full company works, from burlesque-themed dancing to a zombie-themed piece, and were coupled with musical selections as diverse as indie anthems, classic throwbacks and top 40 hits.

The dancers chose to focus on an amalgamation of different stories and emotions rather than one overarching theme. “Some have a particular story, and some are more about eliciting a particular emotion,” Weinberger said.

The show was also special to company members for other reasons besides the group anniversary: Bigger dance numbers, better costumes and a visit from Franklin had Fusion members excited.

“We upped the costume ante, so there’s a lot more visual stuff for people,” said Artistic Director Talia Wong ’13. “And I think in terms of professional level, it’s really quite high.”

The company also counted on great lights, talented dancers and an exciting repertoire to make this year’s show special.

“We all came back from winter break a week early to do what we call dance camp,” said Danielle Lo ’13. “That’s basically just boot camp — we dance from 9 in the morning until midnight. That’s where we finish the bulk of our show.”

Striving to appeal to all the senses, the finale  mixed zombie costumes, hip-hop, contemporary dance moves and innovative make-up techniques to create a humorous though slightly dark conclusion. A seamlessly incorporated and complicated lighting display set to pulsating music served its purpose well, helping to highlight several styles of dance and successfully wrapping up the show.

The show was well-liked by audience members, many of whom commented on the show’s multi-dimensional nature.

“On campus there are a lot of other dance groups who only do certain types of styles,” Lo said. “But we do everything.”



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