Arts, On Campus

DOBC’s Annual Show ‘Illuminate’ Impresses Audience with Heartfelt and Powerful Performances

The Dance Organization of Boston College’s (DOBC) annual showcase was particularly bright this year. Illuminate! took place in Robsham Theater on Thursday, Feb. 1, and Friday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m., featuring 17 dances and guest performances by Synergy, Boston College Irish Dance (BCID), Phaymus, and Sexual Chocolate. 

On their opening night, the dancers’ infectious energy and passion carried through to the audience, as people danced in their seats and swayed to the music’s beat, erupting into louder cheers as they celebrated their friends’ choreographies. 

Throughout the show, a combination of high-energy dances and moments with softer and sentimental touches kept the audience on a roller coaster of emotions. In the first half of the show, Wet’s “You’re the Best,” Taylor Swift’s “Dress,” Arcade Fire’s “My Body Is a Cage,” and Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” particularly stood out. 

“You’re the Best,” choreographed by Melis Sanal, CSOM ’26, captured the dancers’ joy at being onstage—their movements maintained a set fluidity through powerful yet graceful dance moves. 

“Dress,” choreographed by Kristen Chung, MCAS ’24, was a fantastic contrast to the quiet beauty of “You’re the Best,” with its swift and engaging movements. One particularly impressive moment was when all of the dancers turned their heads at the same time in perfect unison.

Olivia Batt’s, CSOM ’24, choreography to “My Body is a Cage” was also full of fluid and graceful motions. In her introduction video, Batt mentioned her choreography was focused on “being present,” and her expressive and emotional dance accomplished just that. 

The final dance of the first half was to “The Chain,” choreographed by Cordelia Zawarski, LSEHD ’25. The dancers wore dark pants and white shirts, an outfit choice that accentuated their movements. The acutely in-sync dancing highlighted DOBC’s talent and well-rehearsed skills. At one point, the dancers moved in a running motion, as the word “running” came up in the song. The dancers matched the intense emotion of the song’s with equally intense movements.

In the second half, a medley of Beyoncé’s tracks titled “Beyoncé,” Rihanna’s “Love On The Brain,” and The Weeknd’s “D.D.” were distinct standouts. 

“Beyoncé,” choreographed by Cara Page, CSON ’24, featured all of the dancers wearing heels, a choice that added a layer of sensuality and empowerment, which most shined through in an impressive moment of intricate footwork in heels.

“Love on the Brain,” choreographed by Beatrice Hesse, MCAS ’25, and Avery Savage, MCAS ’25, showcased the choreographer’s creativity. The performers wore button-up shirts and black shorts, while using chairs as props for parts of the song.

Next, the director of DOBC, Emily Pudvah, MCAS ’24, choreographed an exciting and engaging dance to “D.D.” The dancers’ fluid motions, such as complex bends and turns throughout the dance, captured the audience’s attention. “D.D.” also included a lift, an aerial, and impressive jumps.

Phaymus and Sexual Chocolate were wonderful guests for the opening show. Phaymus’ rookies displayed clean, synchronized movements, while Sexual Chocolate excited the crowd with its notorious moves and incredible step skills.

The final two performances of the show were composed of senior dances—Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up” and the finale, entitled “Illuminate,” which featured the entire group. 

Before “Never Grow Up,” the underclassmen showed a video they made featuring the seniors from their freshman year to the present. The touching moment lingered through their dances, in which each senior had a special moment onstage, showing their joy being on stage together one last time.

The finale, choreographed by all of the officers, was a thrilling and energetic close to a fabulous show. While very high-energy and fairly fast-paced, the dancers’ movements remained harmonious. 

The very last song in the mashup was Jess Glynne’s “Kill the Lights,” a song that brought the audience to its feet in a final moment of joy and excitement for both the dancers and those watching them.

February 4, 2024