Like singers or poets, choreographers have distinct voices. Get the right group of dance creators in the same program and you’ve got a harmonious chorus of movement.
Such is the case with the charming ”Vignettes,” the Spring Dance Concert, provided an array of entertainment through the 17 well choreographed short dances. The choreographers apparent vision was impressively showcased throughout the evening
There were two acts with non continuing narratives. The show started with the cupid themed, tap dance “C’est L’ Amore,” which was the weakest of performances. This was the only dance where some of the dancers spoke, which was suppose to be humorous, but fell a bit flat. The tap dancing seemed out of step and it didn’t match the song choice.
However, the show was quickly redeemed with the next dance “Recovery,” which told an interesting story that began with the female dancers trapped in a white blanket, attempting an escape from menacing male dancers.
The strong music choices set the tone for the enjoyable performances. “Surge,” performed by the Pierce College Urban Dance Crew, mixed the swagger of hip-hop with the modern electro dance music and dubstep that the younger audiences could appreciate. It was an exhilarating performance that was done in tremendous unison.
Perhaps the most bold performance was Briana Bauer and Amy Hagamans “All that Blonde,” which they choreographed. The dance flirted with becoming cringeworthy, as it began with the two women in burlesque sitting in a chair snapping to Cy Coleman & Dorothy Fields’ “Big Spender.”
Act One ended with a bang, Denise Gibson and the Wonderland Team-choreographed “Fiesta de Baile,” a flaring salsa performance that ignited the audience into a roar of cheers.
Occasionally, some dances suffered from poor timing, although in “The Mistake Waltz,” the missteps were on purpose. It’s about dancers who are out of sync. Each one the female dancers worked well with their roles and it was an entertaining and humourous way to begin Act Two.
What made some performance standout ability to intertwine with the role they were playing.
Some dancers were able to put on a believable performance that told a story better than other
Acting is a key component to dancing, and “Ending of Beginnings” and “Running Out of Time” stood out because of the intimacy displayed by the dancers through strong ballads: “Burning House” by Cam and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor. These performance brought the love stories to life.
Production is another vital aspect in engaging the audience to a transformative experience. It would have been effective if some of the performances utilized the addition of props—“Field of Memories” would have been the ideal choice. It was a harmonious dance with a fantastic song choice—“Yellow” by the Vitamin String Quartet—had there been more of a sense of ‘dancing in a grassy field,’ in which it was trying to convey it would have been extra effective.
However, time was of the essence, so kudos to artistic director Denise Gibson, for producing a satisfying display and spectacular wardrobe design within the short dances.
Each choreographer could likely fill an evening of captivating dance, but it’s extra special to have multiple Pierce choreographers showcasing their vision through impressive dancing from the students. All the faculty members and students diligence were impressively displayed in a successful commencement of the semester.