DanceWorks shows in their fall show that you don’t need professional training to shake your groove thang onstage.
Ranging from those who have never danced before in their lives to more experienced dancers who prefer not to go through the process of auditioning, DanceWorks provides a forum for people to come together simply for their love of dance.
While some of the music choices seemed cliched, several of the choreographers spiced things up with innovative and creative moves, turning your average Toad’s boogie into a muy caliente performance.
Featuring great costumes, Kit Krugman’s ’07 dance to Mis-Teeq’s “Scandalous” lives up to its title. The female dancers flirtatiously strip off black blazers as the song begins. Krugman keeps the piece fresh by playing with varying heights, from having dancers crawl seductively on the floor to using their bodies as footrests.
Generally the larger dance numbers were more energetic and better executed.
“Lucifer” by Jay-Z, choreographed by Dayo Olopade ’07, is characterized by too-cool-for-you sass and crisp moves. The numerous dancers sport puffy vests and jeans, a creative costume choice that departs from the skimpy tank tops of other numbers. While puffy vests tend to make a pillows out of the wearers, it is a testament to the hotness of Olopade’s number that the dancers can come across looking exceptionally sexy while engulfed in puffs of nylon.
Another piece that turns up the heat is Janet Jackson’s “All Night.” Lana Popovic’s ’07 moves are hypnotically sexy; the performers dance on chairs at one point in the number, and provide a little one-on-one action to audience members later on in the dance.
Baily Blair ’06’s “Ven Conmigo” departs from the overtly sexy and scandalous to the playful and fun. The high-energy number incorporates bouncy moves, cute hip-shaking and sparkly bracelets for a charming romp set to Aguilera’s pop hit.
A major standout is Jordan Nelson ’06’s “Step Dance: the District Sleeps Alone Tonight,” choreographed to The Postal Service song by the same title, is definitely a highlight of the show. The dancers, standing in a “V,” enact a sort of call-and-response, with the front part of the “V” establishing a clapping rhythm and the back and middle dancers responding with their own beat. The complex percussive sounds of the stepdance set to the uber-chill music creates an aural richness, layering mellow music with fast and furious step-dance beats.
As with any dance performance, there were a few duds.
Geraldine Gassam’s ’07 “Shut Up” is too simplistic, including moves such as patting the floor, and comes across as a cheerleading routine more than anything else.
“Boogie Dat Be,” choreographed by Ashley Elsner ’05, could use more people. Mostly, dancers are either throwing out an arm or kicking out a leg, but rarely both at the same time. This could be effective with a faster-paced song, but the limited dance moves can’t pull off the slower number.
Keeping in mind that DanceWorks is a non-audition group really enhances one’s enjoyment of the show. Yes, there are people in the group who look uncomfortable onstage, but that doesn’t detract from the overall fun and exuberance of the show. The numbers that shine are a thrill to watch. You’ll be inspired to run onstage and dance along with the DanceWorks troupe. And because the show runs less than 90 minutes, there’s still time for you to take notes on those hot dance moves and try them out yourself after the show.
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