Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
The Collaboration Show was a student-operated production that took place in the Guidrey Center at Dean College on March 5th, 2016 at 7:30pm. The purpose of the performance is to showcase dance pieces that are created and performed by students. The majority of the pieces were performed by the various dance groups, including: Dance Team, Step Team, Loose Screws (Tap Team), and Synergy (Hip Hop Team). There were also a handful of student-choreographed works that were created and performed by students who are not a part of any of the teams. The name “Collaboration Show” accurately represents the blending of skills and talents of the Dean College dancers, as well as the students who operate behind the scenes to execute the technical details of the show (light, sound, stage direction).
A piece from the show that stood out to me was entitled “Sorry” and choreographed by Silvia Laracca. The dancers were all members of the Dance Team. The choreography was very fluid and graceful, using breath and the accents of the music to guide the movement. The music was a female cover of Justin Beiber’s song, “Sorry”. Lyrically, the song is about apologizing for something even though it might be too late to do so. The choreography reflected the lyrics and emotional message of the song. I enjoyed the piece because it showcased a group of beautiful dancers who seemed to give an individual story to the choreography. Each dancer wore a dress that was styled and colored differently than the rest of the group. When the movement was supposed to be synchronized it was, but each person varied how it was executed and the way their body interpreted the story of the piece. The dancing portrayed the apologetic nature of the lyrics, and I connected with the piece because of how each dancer portrayed a unique perspective to the audience.
The technical execution of the piece was well done. The dancers moved with clarity, control, and precision. Musicality was incorporated and all of the movement was in tune and done in time to the music. The choreography incorporated excellent use of the space on stage, using different groups of people and various formations to capture glimpses of all of the spatial opportunities the stage offered. The dancers performed with stage presence that brought life to the piece and captured the audience’s attention. As an audience member and fellow dancer, I could sense that each person on stage embodied the movement in their own ways, which made the piece interesting to watch. The technical ability of the dancers also made the piece enjoyable to watch because they moved with grace, fluidity, and lightness. There was contrast between the movements that were meant to be more relaxed and the ones that intentionally used more energy and stronger lines of the body. The facial expressions of the dancers also revealed their stage presence and connection to the theme of the piece.
The piece did an excellent job using the space of the stage. By using different formations and frequently dividing the dancers into multiple groups, Silvia created a piece that explored all of the stage and the way that experimenting with movement in different timing can be effective at engaging the audience. There were times where only some of the dancers were on stage, both doing movement in unison or in couples. Additionally, there were moments where the entire group of dancers was on stage, performing movement in unison facing different directions on stage or performing similar movement in different ways at the same time. The lighting did a good job highlighting the piece and adding to the tone. The entire piece was accented with medium, warm lights that illuminated the dancers while maintaining a sense of vulnerability and softness. This lighting was effective because it allowed the audience to see the dancers without shining too much light and ruining the softness of sensitivity of the piece.
This production of Collaboration Show was appealing to watch because it showcased the talents of all four of Dean’s dance groups, as well as other dance majors. The show had a variety of pieces in different genres, which made it interesting to watch and possibly more exciting for audience members without an extensive knowledge of dance. My overall impression from the show was that it was a great opportunity to showcase the skills of my peers, but I was left wanting something new or risky. The choreography and dancing in this show was a bit predictable in my opinion, because I attend most of the dance shows and take class with these students on a daily basis. There were a few pieces that caught my attention, one of which was “Sorry”, but other than those few pieces I was not too excited about the work showcased in this performance. As a fellow dancer, I had seen a lot of these people’s choreography and movement, and in order for me to get really excited about a piece I am interested in seeing risk taking (both from the choreographers and the dancers). There is something about it that appeals to my personal aesthetic that I was missing from this performance. I did enjoy the show, however, I think there was a layer of exploration and vulnerability that was not touched by the choreographers or dancers this time.