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ImPulse’s spring performance rises to the occasion

'ImPulse Rising,' features guests Badmaash and Static Noyze, explores notion of the alter ego

Dancers dressed in gold weave and flow through shifting flashes of colorful light in an opening set of “ImPulse Rising.” After intensive preparation, Brown’s imPulse Dance Company will take the stage in Alumnae Hall for its annual show Friday and Saturday.

The buildup to this spring performance accumulated over the course of a year. Two auditions took place: the first following last year’s spring show and the second in the fall. The whole company returned to campus from winter break early for a full week of 12-hour-long practices, said Layla Heidari ’15, publicity chair for imPulse.

This year’s show, “ImPulse Rising,” is seamless and effortless, despite the intensity and variety that the challenging two-hour-long performance presents. The show revolves around an alter ego theme, with certain pieces showcasing the superheroes and supervillains among them. Two guest groups — Brown Badmaash, an Asian fusion dance troupe, and Static Noyze, a Boston-based group — will join the troupe in the second half of the show.

Simultaneously playing the role of student and dancer, each member of the cast has a unique personality or an alter ego, Heidari said, adding that these personalities are represented in the student-choreographed pieces. 

Though primarily a hip-hop group, the company showcases its vast range of styles and abilities in each subsequent piece. The dancers transition smoothly from fast-paced intensity to smooth balletic movement. They shift from two-person interpretive pieces to full-group sets that exude power through the precision and coordination of 26 individuals.

The choreography and performance showcase physical strength and energy coupled with grace and control. The dancers bring self-awareness to a new level, with consistently appropriate facial expressions — be it bright smiles or menacing glares — to complement practiced moves, adding emotion and attitude.

The music is carefully woven into the show, switching from  piece to piece. The audience will experience both popular hits and the works of lesser-known artists in an entirely new way through the dancers’ fresh interpretations.  Elaborate and distinct costumes both distinguish and unify the pieces. Impeccably timed lighting matches the music and movement perfectly, further developing the shifting moods in each piece.

Such close attention to detail from beginning to end creates a cohesive show that seems to tell the story of the company. No two pieces are alike, revealing individuality within a diverse group.

What stands out most is how much fun the dancers — described by Heidari as a “close-knit family” — seem to have with every piece. Their energy does not fade, despite the stamina required for such an elaborate show. Their fun and energy are contagious, making “ImPulse Rising” a show well worth watching.


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