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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Unleashing the talents of the Adagio Dance Company

Published: October 26, 2012
Section: Arts, Etc., Featured

Adagio Dance Company held its fall show Dancefest, “ADC Unleashed,” this Wednesday in Levin Ballroom. Over the course of two hours there were 21 different dances ranging from hip hop to lyrical.

The show opened with the Adagio Dance Ensemble’s contemporary number, slow and graceful movements that set the stage for an eclectic presentation. The number that followed, however, Yifei’s Hip Hop Dance, can only be described as awkward. It lacked clear choreography, and it was not well executed, leaving much to be desired. The show quickly recovered, and really got started, once the Hooked on Tap ensemble took the stage. With flashing lights and matching floral dresses, they had a far more professional look than the previous numbers. The crowd also responded to the burst of energy brought by Hooked on Tap.

The energy continued as Suffolk University’s W!cked Hip Hop Dance Crew took the stage, eliciting cheers from the crowd with each difficult dance move, or with each change between popular songs. The crowd favorites of the night included the hip hop dances, which consistently received persistent applause. One, “The Perkins Asylum,” choreographed by Shaquan Perkins ’13, had eerie music and dance movements in line with the insane asylum theme. It was very appropriate for upcoming Halloween.

One of the best dances of the night came from MIT’s group, Ridonkulous. They had a theme that was perfectly executed alongside their dance. It opened with the dancers attempting to lull one of their own to sleep, appropriately along Samuel L Jackson’s reading of the popular mock-children’s book “Go the F— to Sleep” by Adam Mansbach. The use of the audiobook worked beautifully to create a cute scene, and opened up a whole narrative for the dance. The large ensemble quickly changed out of pajamas and into monster-like outfits, transitioning into dances relating to nightmares in the dreamland the boy enters, and culminated appropriately with Chris Brown’s “Don’t Wake Me Up.” The group as a whole wowed with professionalism and skill.

Another outstanding piece was “Welcome to Kaos Land” by the Kaos Kids. The large hip hop ensemble moved in flawless unison, while also highlighting the talents of individual dancers. The piece and group are aptly named, bringing a controlled chaos to their performance that made the viewer excited for the show to return for its second act.

The show, however, consisted of much more than crowd-pleasing hip hop. The “Allegro Dance,” performed by Adagio Alumni, was the most beautiful piece of the night. The dancers were statues come to life, appropriately dressed in Greek-style costumes. Their motions were fluid, and yet controlled, as if they were actually statues. The romantic piece was previously performed as “Midnight at the Museum” for the Leonard Bernstein Festival for the Arts.
“Let the Drummer Kick,” danced to the song of the same name by Citizen Cope, was a “modern piece [that] explores symmetry and structure,” according to the program. The end of the dance was identical to its opening, and the dancers wore simple white and black. The only focus: their dancing. It was a modern dance that emphasized simple, effective movements that also recalled other dance forms, such as ballet.

Other highlight performances from the show included, “Stand Out/Fit In,” a unique jazzy piece that stood out for its different form of dance; “On the Nature of Daylight,” which opened the second act, was performed to music that incorporated the sound of rain, creating a slow, purposeful piece. The So Unique step team was also notable as another crowd pleaser because of their energy and skill.

All the pieces were intermixed, showcasing high energy to more relaxed performances throughout the night. The show culminated with another Adagio Dance Ensemble piece that combined these two extremes to create an upbeat performance that had the dance elements of some of the peaceful numbers. Titled “Just Another Place to Die,” the finale piece was about “overcoming the heavy weight of our past and being able to move forward with our lives,” according to the show’s program. The music for the piece was Fun’s “One Foot,” which emphasized the idea of moving forward in a literal way, as the dancers put one foot in front of the other, though in a more elegant and elaborate way as compared to the common meaning. For a piece with an unhappy title, it was a joyous performance.

“ADC Unleashed” showed off an immense amount of skill from the Brandeis community, as well as from the guest schools, that kept the crowd engaged all night.