With fancy footwork and creative choreography, Boston College Irish Dance (BCID) shined in its annual showcase, this year titled Amplify.
BCID’s show, which was held at Robsham Theater on Friday and Saturday night, wowed the audience with intricate moves and a contemporary take on the traditional dance style.
Amplify opened with a performance from the entire BCID group, a strong start with intense synchronicity as the women twirled across the stage.
The performance was interspersed with large group and intimate small group dances, making each number feel unique and distinct.
BCID’s dancers also wore interesting costumes for each song, again highlighting the differences between each dance. The varying costumes allowed BCID to highlight different aspects of its performances, using color and shape to communicate emotion and accentuate technical skills.
The first small group performance was set to “Artemis” by Lindsey Sterling, an intense and driving violin piece. The dance, choreographed by Maggie Lane, Lynch ’21, contrasted the different shoe types that Irish dancers wear. Half of the women wore hard shoes while the others wore soft shoes, drawing the audience’s eyes and ears to different groups of dancers.
The team then performed dances to two contemporary songs, “If I Can’t Have You” by Shawn Mendes and “Fool’s Gold” by Dagny and BØRNS, creating strong geometric circles, lines, and knots across the stage.
BCID welcomed the Heightsmen as a Friday night guest performer. The Heightsmen, BC’s all-male a cappella group, performed covers of “Pennies From Heaven,” written by Arthur Johnston and Johnny Burke but popularized by Louis Prima, and “Somebody to Love” by Queen. With enthusiastic snapping and matching formalwear, the Heightsmen offered a more classic sound that was an interesting departure from BCID’s contemporary music and traditional dancing.
After BCID returned to the stage with a number of performances, they finished Act One of Amplify with a “Step About” in which the team circled up and each Irish dancer showed off her individual skills as the rest of the group stood on stage cheering.
Following a brief intermission, BCID opened their Act Two with a performance danced to “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys. The routine, which is a team tradition, was choreographed by BCID’s head choreographer, Ciara Stillson, CSON ’21, and paid homage to the city with unique Irish dance elements.
Following a performance set to Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite,” which delivered a heavy dose of nostalgia, BCID’s seven-member Executive Board danced to a traditional Irish dance piece, “Fiery Nights.” The small group of the club’s leaders was a tribute to female power and the amazing things that the team can accomplish together.
Friday’s second guest performance featured the Boston College Dance Ensemble, who danced with a flowing, lyrical dance style, before BCID returned to the Robsham stage with routine set to Post Malone’s “Ball For Me.” The dance, choreographed by co-presidents Maeve Clancy, CSOM ’20, and Mikayla O’Brien, MCAS ’20, used the pop song as a segue into the group’s “a cappella” section, where the dancers’ hard shoe footwork created intricate beats. The performance allowed the audience to see and hear the Irish dancers’ skill up close, as they managed to stay perfectly synchronized even after the track cut out.
Following an emotional farewell dance from the senior BCID members, the entire club came back on stage for a dramatic and well-executed finale, also choreographed by Stillson. Capitalizing on their large depth of talent, the dancers of BCID finished Amplify on a high note as they flew across the stage, their feet twirling and tapping in complete unison.
Amplify succeeded in showcasing not only the members of BCID’s technical talent, but also their bond as a team. As they embraced and freestyle-danced during their bows at the end of the performance, it was clear that BCID’s success depends not only on its technical skill, but on its members’ love of dance and strong team connection.
Featured Image by Susu Guo / For The Heights