There is nothing as fantastical as watching humans in motion. Dance in and of itself is such a beautiful form of self-expression—able to convey such emotion, feeling and finesse—that when performed in unison, displays the grandeur of the human form. The same can be said about Adagio Dance Company’s most recent performance “Undefeated: Adagio Spring Show 2016” which took place on Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in Levin Ballroom. Inspired by the quote, “If dance were any easier, it would be called football,” Adagio Dance Company decided to declare itself Brandeis’ official, undefeated football team.
Showcasing a plethora of different dance types, such as lyrical, ballet and street jazz, among many others, with more of a focus on lyrical, Adagio’s spring show wonderfully merged the artistic inclinations of its members. As an all-inclusive group that strives to give every Brandeis student the opportunity to demonstrate his or her passion to dance, the group’s spring semester show had dance performances that varied in difficulty and complexity; ranging from beginner to advanced, it is possible for practically anyone to get involved, no matter that person’s level of experience.
Interestingly enough, this Adagio performance incorporated a description written by the choreographer in the event’s booklet in an attempt to explain the purpose of the dance and the artistic vision associated with the choreography and song choice. The creators of each dance put in a great deal of thought about the intention of each piece.
The culmination of a semester’s worth of practicing most certainly paid off. The dances were polished and retained a measure of panache and flavor that was enjoyable to behold as an audience member. The dancers exhibited immense skill, taking special care to go beyond simply memorizing the dance routine; rather, each performer seemed to put their heart and soul into the performance, placing special care in the subtlety of movement. The dancers appeared to not only enjoy dancing, but to feel the beat of the movement and convey the deepest feelings reflected in the song.
The first dance of the night, “Nebulo” was intended to “show the synchronicity of movement,” which it undoubtedly executed very well. Choreographed by Julie Joseph ’18, the dance was set to the musically dynamic “Asht” by Nebulo and performed by the Dance Ensemble. Presenting lyrical ballet at its finest, not a single dancer faltered on a particular move, nor did anyone exude anything but poise and confidence.
The performance choreographed by Akshiti Todi ’19, titled “Turning Back Time,” was particularly notable in its creativity, attention to detail and conveyance of a storyline. The songs in this performance included smooth transitions between Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” Beyonce’s “Yoncé” and Timbaland’s “The Way I Are” and were meant to “feature a DJ who is rewinding her playlist.” Adagio dancers were dressed similarly to dancers in the Justin Bieber music video, rocking flannel shirts, tank tops, shorts and caps. Possessing the most sass out of all the performances, “Turning Back Time” showcased fun, confident movements performed in almost complete unison. At the point in the dance routine when a transition between songs took place, all dancers were still except for one; she was the DJ of sorts and rhythmically moved her body to the haphazard sounding DJ beats.
“Howl” left me speechless, as Deesha Patel’s ’16 choreography gracefully jived very well with Hozier’s “It Will Come Back.” From the first seconds of the performance the dancers were able to elicit a wildly alluring choreography as the girls snapped, swayed their hips and simply stayed in place. The intimacy of the various dance movements displayed Deesha Patel’s ’16, Melina Gross’ ’19 and Maura Koehler’s ’19 absolutely outstanding dancing ability.
Other rather notable performances include Hannah Suib’s ’19 “Fix You,” which was choreographed to show the true importance of friendship, as well as Brooke Granovsky’s ’18 “Destiny’s Child Medley,” which demonstrated female empowerment through hip hop dance moves. Amanda Ehrmann’s ’19 “Unsung Hero,” a dance routine that was set to the beat of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” was intended to pay tribute to the influential artist, a task which the performance did wonderfully.
The logistics of the show also came together perfectly and greatly contributed to the success of the show. The transitions from one performance to another were cleanly executed by the two emcees of the night, Ray Trott ’16 and Dan Rozel ’16, both of whom were decked in sports attire, representing their favorite sports teams. Each dance routine was also uniquely lit, with a collage of a full range of colors. The unique lighting allowed for the expression of ever more heartfelt emotions and really added to the experience of every routine.
The effort involved in every roundhouse kick, twirl, split and full body roll revealed the fierceness and zeal of the Adagio dancers. If they were in a competition, I can only imagine that the judges would unanimously declare them undefeated—they might not be Brandeis’ football team, but they sure could make every touchdown.