A Graceful Collision From BCDE
Published: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 10:03
This past weekend the Boston College Dance Ensemble put on their annual spring production, titled Collide. The show ran from Thursday through Sunday and all proceeds went toward funding the Campus School, an organization on campus that educates students aged three to 21 with multiple disabilities and complex health care needs.
The Saturday night crowd was especially enthusiastic in light of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and definitely added an extra entertainment factor to the ensemble’s performance. Audience aside, Collide was an extremely energetic and captivating production. The show began with a number entitled “Power and Control,” which did exactly what the title suggests. The ensemble exploded on stage and demonstrated very difficult dance skills, such as multiple pirouettes and high kick combinations, which take a lot of power and strength to execute. The dancers illustrated their multiple skills and strengths they hone in their craft right off the bat, which got the crowd pumped.
Throughout the production, the dance ensemble exhibited a wide variety of dance styles and music genres. Pieces ranged from classical ballet to Arabian themed, from hip-hop influenced to tap-dance. The music was equally as dynamic, moving from strong emotional ballads to punchy hard rock. The second piece was an elegant ballet routine entitled “All I Need.” It felt like the dancers were effortlessly floating across the floor, with their range of movement covering the entire stage. Every single ballet-focused piece featured the dancer’s ability to lengthen their bodies beautifully and the natural grace that each dancer of the ensemble possesses.
The Dance Ensemble choreographs all of their routines themselves. In Collide, there were featured members who choreographed their own routines and had the opportunity to dedicate those routines to a multitude of people. Many of the senior members of the ensemble dedicated their pieces to their fellow seniors—other members dedicated them to the dancers that participated in the routine they created, and others to the ensemble as a whole. From both these endearing dedications to each other and the way these dancers performed on stage, it is not hard to tell that this group truly loves to dance and love each other. Each piece was never short of oozing emotion. The senior members were absolutely glowing, a testament to how proud they are to have been a part of such an amazing group.
The seventh piece, “This Gift,” was a flowing ballet routine that felt like a waterfall and was incredibly moving. That was immediately followed by a powerful, punchy routine entitled “I’m a Woman”—a piece which exuded femininity and girl power. That one definitely got the crowd excited. The last piece before the intermission, “Spotlight It’s Not Right,” had the audience singing and dancing along with the dancers. The ladies were vibing with their audience without a question.
Right before the intermission, BC Irish Dance made a guest appearance, performing two pieces—one to traditional Irish step dance music, and the other to the ever-popular and loved by BC students “For Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. Given that it is St. Patrick’s Day weekend, this cameo by BCID was fitting. Following the intermission, the dance ensemble collaborated with the Bostonians, an a capella group on campus, for two pieces: “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men and “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates. This collaboration was definitely an unexpected twist but a very special moment. It is always great to see different performance groups come together and support each other in their respective shows. At one point during the Hall & Oates number, the soloist forgot the lyrics to the second verse and promptly pulled out his iPhone for aid. The crowd loved it.
The final two performances were especially outstanding. The second to last, “Water Lilies,” at first seemed off because of the strange abrupt change of music from the opening of “Thrift Shop” to “Taking Chances,” but it actually felt right. This piece featured the class of 2013 members of the ensemble, which they themselves choreographed together, and ended with the song “I Love You Always Forever.” It was a beautiful illustration of the love these seniors have for each other and their group, and it got the audience singing and dancing along. The final piece, “Collide,” was as explosive as the opener, and featured the entire group. It was an excellent way to end the show.
In my humble opinion, the BC Dance Ensemble doesn’t get enough credit. These ladies are exceptionally talented and they put on a magnificent show. At one point during the performance an audience member exclaimed, “I’m so happy!” which is exactly how I, and probably the entire audience as well, felt.