On Friday, roughly 1,500 people packed the Flynn Recreation Complex for Boston College’s sixth annual Relay for Life.
Camped out with sleeping bags, blow-up mattresses, pillows, and blankets, the BC student body prepared to spend the night. The fundraiser for the American Cancer Society incorporated BC dance and a cappella groups into the program as well as activities to keep students awake for the all-night fundraiser. These performances kept up the energy of the participants and entertained the audience.
The first performance of the night was by BC Irish Dance. The group’s first dance was a tribute to breast cancer, with the girls wearing pink shirts adorned with the pink breast cancer ribbon. This theme of the performance was incorporated in more ways than just their costumes. The performance reached its climax when the girls changed formation and revealed letters on the backs of the shirts spelling, “She’s a fighter.”
The next dance was another less-traditional Irish dance to Bastille’s “Pompeii.” To close, the performers returned to something a little more traditional with “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”-a crowd favorite. Overall, it was an innovative performance, bringing in elements of traditional Irish dance, and tying them together with contemporary tunes.
Dance Ensemble took the stage next with performances in a variety of genres. The troupe began with ballet and then transitioned to lyrical dance, before finishing up the performance with an upbeat jazz number. The energy of the performance increased as it went on, engaging the crowd.
The next two hours were punctuated by performances by different a cappella groups including the Heightsmen, the Dynamics, Sharps, and Shaan, as well as a guest performance by Vermont alternative rock band Dionysia. These brief sets provided variety to the night and gave participants something to watch while they sat in the Plex waiting or walking the track.
The Dance Organization of Boston College also performed later in the night. The group’s first dance was choreographed around chairs, and had an upbeat feel to it. DOBC’s second number was inspired by the Jazz Age. The performance concluded with a hip-hop number-the same they shared at the Fashion Club’s first annual fashion show two weeks ago.
The highlight of the evening was a performance by the Acoustics. The Acoustics were part of the Luminaria ceremony, which honored those fighting or who have survived cancer, as well as those who had lost their fight. The a cappella group’s renditions of Mumford & Sons’ “White Blank Page” and Coldplay’s “Fix You” were moving and beautiful. The somber, somewhat solemn ceremony was enhanced by the musical performance. The room was darkened and slowly illuminated as the crowd held up glow sticks, with special attention brought to the survivors present in the Plex. The glow sticks were placed in bags in honor of those who have fought cancer. The music of the Acoustics brought the audience into a state of reflection, and remembrance-a poignant tribute to those affected by cancer, some gone and others living.
The 12-hour event brought the crowd through a range of emotion, but ultimately, it was the musical and dance performances that tied together the night and kept participants engaged. Many members of the dance and music groups actually participated in the event, as well.
Relay for Life was a night of solidarity for the various acts featured-a chance to perform, as well as an opportunity to contribute to the cause, in a quiet way.