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‘Dare to Dance’ dares to entertain

By Cheshta Singh

Section: Arts, Featured

April 11, 2014

Adagio Dance Company held its “Dare to Dance” spring show Wednesday and Thursday in Levin Ballroom at 8 p.m. There were 13 different dances performed during the course of the show. There was also a slide show about halfway through the evening to honor the seniors and showcase how much fun is had at Adagio.

Dan Hirshfield ’15 and David Getz ’15 emceed the event. In between dances, they could be heard (but never seen) making jokes and sharing interview trivia questions and answers that they had asked the choreographers. While they weren’t very funny, it was at least a distraction while the dancers got into position on stage.

In every performance, dancers were smiling and having fun on stage. There were a range of skills on the stage, with some dancers definitely appearing well-trained and poised, with others dancing on more of a beginner’s level. However, regardless of the skills, it never felt like less impressive dancers were being shoved to the back or given a shorter time in the spotlight.

The first dance was called “Tribute” and was choreographed by Karina Graft ’14 to the song of the same title by John Newman. In the dance’s description in the program, Graft wrote, “You realize that DeisLife is just too fleeting, and each moment in the four years spent here in our little Brandeis bubble becomes a treasured memory, or at least a lesson learned.” The tribute was for every person that helped to create memories for Karina. The dance was a great introduction to the spring show. It was high energy while also meaningful and served its purpose as a tribute for Graft’s four years and memories at Brandeis. What may have been every dancer in the entire show was out on the stage and in the aisles, moving in sync with the music and each other. As the dancers surrounded the audience, “Tribute” definitely felt the most representative of a community experience. The nostalgia of the song lyrics reminded me of the song “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by Vitamin C.

Another really meaningful performance was “Somewhere” choreographed by Sara Lodgen ’14. Lodgen’s dance was inspired by the Boston Marathon bombings, which occurred almost exactly a year ago. The dance was emotional to watch, and I felt all the dancers did a good job showing all the complex emotions we associate when we think of Boston through the ease and gentleness of their movements. Lodgen was able to to successfully create choreography that would “convey my love for my favorite city” while also serving as a tribute to anybody who was affected.

Another standout performance was “Primal Instincts” choreographed by Deesha Patel ’16. The songs featured were “Go” by Delilah, “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo and “Partition” by Beyoncé. As you could guess from the title of the dance, the song was about seduction. “Seduction should feel natural, instinctual. That level of comfort comes with feeling confident in your body and secure with your idea of sexy,” Patel wrote in the program. The songs were high energy and were good picks to use in this dance. I could see the passionate emotion in the dance, and everybody looked like they had a lot of fun. Each dancer boldly depicted sensuality, which isn’t always easy to do given how the media tries to depict sexiness in a very unrealistic way. While it was visible that some dancers were less comfortable than others, none of them backed down. Every hump, thrust and shake brought claps and cheers from the audience.

“Speakeasy Soiree” choreographed by Gaft and Lodgen was also hugely popular. About half of the dancers were dressed in flapper dresses while the other half were dressed in white vests and black pants. The tap dancing was really entertaining to watch and was also a treat because the dance style is often not given the credit that it should be. This dance was successfully able to “bring you back to the Roaring 20s, the peak of tap as we recognize it today in American culture.” It felt like I was taken back in history with the flamboyant outfits and spunky music. This dance was definitely one of the highlights of the evening and very enjoyable to watch. All the different elements fit like a puzzle and each dancer performed excellently.

“Beneath Your Beautiful” was choreographed by Allie Lawsky ’16 to the song of the same title by Labrinth ft. Emeli Sande. This dance felt very raw and emotional and served its purpose by depicting how everybody deals with their own insecurities, but those insecurities only make us human and “how we can make it through and come out of our bumps and insecurities with smiles.” It was enjoyable yet also sad to watch, but the strength of this dance showed how community brings us together when the dancers held hands together in the dance showing the strength of having another person to look over and help you back up when you fall down.

Lastly, “I Lived” choreographed by Shayna Rubenstein ’16 to the song of the same title by OneRepublic was performed. The song depicted the fragility of life and how precious each day and moment is. “Live your life to the fullest, do something meaningful every day, and never let fear and anxiety stop you from doing something you love.” It was such an amazing dance to watch and also full of raw emotion which we could see in each dancer’s facial expression.

The “Dare to Dance” show was very successful in showcasing the talents of dancers in the Brandeis community while also creating a fun and entertaining night for people who were interested in learning more.

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