Three words describe the Yaledancers spring show: sharp, graceful and dangerous.
The show features mostly contemporary dance with pieces set to pop or rock songs by musicians such as The Killers or Shakira — tracks that might easily turn up on the playlist for a suite party. However, the resemblance ends there. The Yaledancers show is like the shuffling found at most campus parties the way a forest fire is like a lit cigarette.
One of the highlights of the show is “I’ve Got Soul,” choreographed by Molly Gibbons ’14, which manages to tell a silent, sweet and slightly sappy story in three minutes. The story starts with two dancers, each kneeling alone in a pool of light, and it ends with a shy shuffle together and a joining of hands. In between, there is a dizzying whirl of other dancers, weaving in and out of the story.
“I was inspired by a particular story and was excited to explore it through the nuances of movement,” Gibbons said.
Another noteworthy piece is the triptych consisting of “Miss You,” “Missed You,” and “Remiss,” a two-person dance split into three segments and performed at intervals throughout the show. The break points are seemingly random: The dancers simply freeze and the music stops in the middle of a phrase, giving the impression of a video suddenly cut off. The last installment features a remarkable moment that defies expectations the viewer might not even be aware of — when Greta Stetson ’12 takes the lead and lifts Nick Murphy ’12 into the air.
“We included that lift partly to make it clear that this was very much a two-directional relationship. Often in partnering, the male exclusively lifts the female; but in a friendship, the two people should support each other, regardless of their gender,” Stetson said.
The third show-stealer is the lighting. In several pieces, the lights are dimmed completely, and the backdrop is lit up in bright red or blue. The dancers become no more than stark black shadows against the light, setting a sharp, energetic mood that underlies the whole show. There are certainly quiet pieces in the production, including an unexpected snippet of ballet at the start of the second act. But overall, the fast numbers hit the hardest with sheer eye-riveting power, where the dancers move with bold, deadly intent like prowling hunters.
If there is one caveat about the show, it is the slightly disjointed nature of it. There is no unified theme, and the mood shifts wildly from piece to piece. Rebecca Distler ’12, Yaledancers president, said that the lack of a theme was intentional.
“Yaledancers doesn’t have a central theme,” she said. “We focus much more closely on technique, choreography and the individual message of each piece.”
The Yaledancers’ spring show runs from April 12 to 14 at the ECA Theater, located at 55 Audubon St.