Robsham Theater was filled with little girls wearing dance t-shirts and red bows in their hair, current college students, and parents who drove in for the big show Saturday night. When the lights dimmed, the audience members could no longer hold in their screams, as the silhouettes of the dancers appeared onstage.
Boston College Irish Dance (BCID) held its 12th annual showcase this past weekend, with the theme “Celtic Spirit.”
One of the first numbers of the evening, “Night Vision,” was choreographed by Erin McMahon, CSON ’21, and Claire Finnegan, MCAS ’21. As the host Hart Ayoob, LSEHD ’20, introduced the pair, he read out their backgrounds with Irish dancing—when Ayoob said Finnegan was a member of the O’Shea Chaplin Academy of Irish Dance, the girls in the red bows erupted with cheers and applause. The group of young dancers was there for a guest performance, later taking the stage much to the delight of the audience.
The members of BCID moved across the stage with clean speed. Even when their legs appeared to move 100 miles per minute, their torsos were still, arms straight down, fists clenched. They formed, broke down, and reformed dance circles with such agility that you would miss it if you blinked.
The stage’s lighting worked with the choreography to highlight the dancing—during “Come Alive,” choreographed by Maggie Lane, LSEHD ’21, the lights only flashed on when the dancers clapped above their heads. Throughout the show the bright lights were often dimmed, and the colored lights would shine so powerfully that the dancers would become silhouettes on the stage.
For the group’s second to last number of the first act, it stripped down the theatrics to a minimum in order to narrow attention to their incredible agility and footwork. The song began as “Sandstorm” before the music cut out and simple lighting was cast on the stage. The dancers wore hard shoes so that every step they took could be heard, making a kind of music of its own.
The number everyone was waiting for came in the second act: “SICKO Steps.” Mikayla O’Brien, MCAS ’20, choreographed a dance to Travis Scott’s hit “SICKO MODE” with the most modern moves of the night—the dancers moved their arms throughout, something relatively unheard of in the Irish dance world. They rocked to the beat, a move that looks like they are flattening their ankles to roll left and right.
When the lights went down in between performances, the former BCID members in the audience called out to the teammates lucky enough to still be onstage.
“Who are we?” they called out, waiting only moments before roaring, “BCID.”
The seniors took to the stage for a special number before end of the show. The five danced together to “Everlasting Love,” before each had a solo. As the each girl took center stage, a slideshow of pictures was projected on the screen behind them. Competition photos from elementary school were displayed alongside current photos of the five during their time at BC.
To close, the entire ensemble returned to the stage in a horseshoe, and each dancer got a chance to jig across the stage. From start to finish, BCID gave the audience every reason to remember why it’s such a respected and popular group on campus. If this two-hour performance was any indication of what’s to come in the future, BCID could be looking to reclaim its 2017 title with a win at Showdown in April.
Featured Image by Celine Limmy / Heights Editor