Arts, On Campus

Dancers Enchant For Stunning Performance On Robsham Stage

Saturday night, the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center teamed up to present the final performance of the inaugural Week of Dance. The weeklong celebration, featuring programs, shows, and studio classes, culminated with numbers by twelve campus dance groups, that ranged in stylesfrom tap and lyrical ballet to hip-hop and step. Each group offered unique characterizations, mixing dance and music genres to bring something one-of-a-kind to the show.

BC Irish Dance led the program with the geographically appropriate “Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. The driving, fiddle-heavy music brought the show and audience to life as Irish Dance moved in expert formation to the beat. Irish Dance graced the stage again to perform “The Dawning” by Ronan Hardiman, a decidedly more subdued song that showed the capability not only for power, but for introspection in traditional Irish dance. Even without moving their arms, the dancers have a stunning capacity for expression.

Dance Ensemble followed Irish Dance with another  powerful number, Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Woman,” which employed a mix of hip-hop and classical dance. Dance Ensemble reemerged later in red wine-colored dresses for Ben Howard’s “Old Pine.” The lyrical contrast to the ensemble’s previous Destiny’s Child selection served it  well in showing the group’s versatility, especially with the more pensive musical selection and the diverse balletic moves it entailed. Dance Ensemble finally danced back onto the stage in a five-song mashup, featuring Calvin Harris and Fetty Wap, for a combination of jazz and hip-hop, with a surprise tap section in the middle.

The Dance Organization of BC’s first song, Bastille’s “No Angels,” featured a return to a more conventional style of contemporary dance. The soft-pop tune gave new life to an impressive array of traditional leaps and turns, showcasing the group’s technique. It returned after the intermission to dance to Nina Simone’s “Spell on You,” a well-done jazz number that recaptured the audience’s attention and mixed up the genre repertoire of the music. Dance Organization’s final display, and the show’s penultimate one, was a jazzy rendition of “Fever.”

F.I.S.T.S., a step team, interwove its dance sections with narrative about a slumber party. Accordingly, the team members wore onesies and pajamas, pounding out their perfectly-coordinated step routines in comfort and combat boots.

Latin dance team VIP then performed a seven-song mashup, noticeably featuring crowd-pleasers “Let’s Get Loud” and “Bootylicious.” The group transitioned from these more contemporary songs to bachata music. Its dance style changed accordingly, although it all seemed united with the same energy and a smooth transition.

Full Swing made its debut with a four-couple routine set to MKTO’s “Classic.” The song unexpectedly worked extremely well for swing dancing—upbeat enough to carry the choreography while still allowing time for a striking amount of well-executed partner tricks.

The next song, The Weeknd’s recently popular “I Can’t Feel My Face,” was performed by BC On Tap. The team contextualized excellent tap dancing with new style and black cutout outfits, forging originality from an older type of dance.

Masti, BC’s resident South Asian dance team, used its five-item mashup of pop songs in various languages to display its considerable range in hip-hop and traditional dance, performed side-by-side instead of separately. All this while the women wore flowy, ankle-length skirts, making their gymnastics especially spectacular.

After Masti, Fuego appeared for the first time to perform selections from last spring’s Showdown. Its Latin partner dancing used almost as many dips as Full Swing and multitudes of stage props. The team kept up with the relentless musical pace, incorporating both bold individual and more intimate partner movements.

The Golden Eagles, BC’s Game Day dance team, emerged next to Fergie’s “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” in an especially dynamic contemporary routine, involving plenty of individual movement but also wider group exchanges across the stage.

Two members of male hip-hop and step group Sexual Chocolate came out to joke that their team would not be able to perform, before launching into several full-ensemble riffs, both without music and to “$ave Dat Money” by Lil Dicky ft. Fetty Wap and “Sex You” by Bando Jonez.

Synergy closed the show with an exciting, high-energy routine to the impeccable mashup of “Candyshop,” “Lollipop Remix,” “Lose Control,” “Hot in Herre,” and “Pony.” This performance, with its unrelenting pace, fast local movements, and sweeping transitions across the stage were a nice reminder, more than any other, that dance counts as cardio.

The Robsham Dance Show perfectly displayed the amazing abilities BC’s dance crews possess. It also exhibited the diverse spectrum of styles and flavors that each team brings to the school’s holistic expression of the artform.

Featured Images By Sarah Hodgens / Heights Staff

December 7, 2015