Students and community members crowded into Levin Ballroom to watch Adagio’s fall show, themed “Throwback Thursday,” on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 16. The show also featured wonderful performances by Hooked on Tap, Ballet Company and B’Yachad.
Adagio, the biggest student-run dance group on campus, has been planning for a year and began to seriously start putting the show together this past August. Adagio’s comprehensive preparation and rehearsal definitely shined through and paid off.
In terms of planning the theme, Adagio co-president Brooke Granovsky ’18 shed some light on the dance company’s decision process. “Our show was on a Thursday, so that inspired the name ‘Throwback Thursday.’ But we actually arrived at that idea after a discussion about dance’s history at Brandeis… We see Adagio as part of a longstanding Brandeis dance history, an incredible feat of literal and figurative coordination, and an important part of inclusivity on campus,” Granovsky explained.
Maura Koehler ’19 and Yvette Sei ’20 choreographed “Carmen,” which included a part where dancers lined up behind each other in a straight vertical line and all moved as one unit while striking different poses. At one point, all of their arms were extended outwards and vanished one after the other. Then, they all dipped in consecutive order, making for a cool visual effect. Dancers also performed repeated pirouettes during the fast-paced instrumental bit at the end of the song.
Adagio slowed things down a bit with a dance to one of Rihanna’s more recent hits, “Love on the Brain.” Choreographed by Emma Hanselman ’18 and Danielle Cohen ’18, the performance featured a well-executed flip. A highlight was when the dancers dropped to the ground and were on their backs, showing the sometimes exhausting nature of romantic relationships and having internal battles over love.
“Human,” choreographed by Julie Joseph ’18, explored the topic of domestic violence. Half of the dancers wore black shirts and the other half wore red shirts. Some of the choreography included literal visual representations of the song’s meaning, while other choreography was more figurative. The dancers used chairs to serve as symbols of possession in the relationship between victims and abusers.
“Still Roaming,” choreographed by Amanda Ehrmann ’17, featured impressive lifts and matched the pace of the song as it gradually got faster and faster. This group additionally did a great job at utilizing the entire space, truly commanding the stage.
Adagio also performed to songs such as “Gimme All Your Love” and “Cosmic Love.” The former, choreographed by Liv Molho ’20, included many extended arms and legs, and drawn-out movements to match the downtempo song. The latter, choreographed by Samantha Jean ’19 and Haley Director ’20, was equally graceful, but had more of a dramatic effect due to the flashing colored lights throughout the performance.
The Adagio show featured a powerful piece set to a spoken word track with an instrumental background. “Body Love” choreographed by Hannah Suib ’19 and Jean touched upon body image and the tough emotions that go hand in hand with the issue. Dancers’ movements symbolized these heavy emotions, with Mary Lambert’s powerful song playing in the background. While there were several parts where the dancers stood in hunched over positions, signifying insecurity, there were several parts where the dancers stood tall with confidence.
“Body image issues are something that I, like a lot of dancers, struggled with growing up and continue to wrestle with today, so I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to use this song,” said Suib. “The song is so powerful and speaks to so many people in a similar way that Samantha and I were able to easily settle on certain movements and shapes to create on stage,” added Suib.
Renee Korgod ’20 choreographed to a rap piece called “Talking to Myself,” written by George Watsky, which tells of his constant internal battle with his own thoughts. The dancers best translated the lyrics into movement when Watsky rapped in the second verse, “Cause you get up in the morning get ahead, get to bed and then you do it all again until the moment that you drop.” The dancers continuously spun in circles and then abruptly dropped to the floor on the word, “drop.” And when Watsky’s rapping accelerated later in the second verse, the five dancers nervously wandered center stage, grasping their heads which were pointed downwards in frustration. The dance moves were at times sharp and at times fluid. “Talking to Myself” definitely conveyed the song’s message in an effective way.
Suib also choreographed “Cell Block Tango.” The dance was theatrical and sensual, and the five dancers stayed in character throughout the entire performance, captivating the audience with their portrayal of the “merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail.”
Ultimately, Adagio put on a spectacular fall show with well-choreographed dances, meaningful messages and lots of passion. Those who missed the show but would like to see the dancing for themselves can check out Adagio’s YouTube channel for recordings of the fall show.
Hannah Schuster, an editor-in-chief for The Hoot, is in Adagio. Polina Potochevska, features editor for The Hoot, is also in Adagio. Sarah Terrazano, a senior copy editor for The Hoot, is in Hooked on Tap.