Bravo to the USF Spring Dance Concert

Straying from the un-understandable, USF dancers give great show

click to enlarge Cause Redux - Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Cause Redux

Out of all the college dance performances I’ve attended, this one has been my favorite. If you’ve ever been to a college dance concert, you probably left in awe, yet thinking, “WTF,” after multiple abstract interpretations through movement that is puzzlingly bizarre. This show, however, has a much more fun and relatable atmosphere that will entertain even the least inclined dancer out there. Don’t get me wrong — you’ll most likely have your fair share of WTF moments — but that’s just the beauty of the art of modern dance.

The first piece, Fingerprints, was choreographed by Paula Nuñez and held true to her promise to be strong and beautiful. It went back and forth between slow adagio and upbeat allegro movements and music. This helped engage the audience and was very enjoyable to watch. The mixture of musical compositions and poetry in this piece were utilized to create a beautiful relationship between the movements and music. The only thing that would have made it a better performance for me is facial expression. It was obviously rehearsed with serious and stern faces but in my opinion, smiles or even some laughter would have helped differentiate between the serious and humorous themes the piece suggested..

(Note: At this point in the show, I craved to get on stage and start dancing myself.)

The next piece, Eddy, was choreographed by one of my favorite dance faculty, Andee Scott. I found it the most stereotypical “modern” piece in the show. If you’re not a dancer or not a fan of artsy-fartsy modern, you probably checked the clock during this one. I, however, love Andee and her fluid, circular modern style. Eddy impressed me.

The third piece, Cause Redux, was my favorite by far. This one also incorporated spoken word poetry to music and gave me goosebumps from the beginning to end. The theme of this piece is hate, so it’s easy to imagine how powerful that can be in any form. The dancers portrayed the emotion almost flawlessly. Everyone may have a different explanation on the underlying message here, but I thought the movements made a bold statement against oppression and inequality. Yes, yes, yes. This piece inspired me in so many ways and I believe it has the power to have the same effect on anyone who watches it. Thank you, Robert Moses for choreographing such a powerful piece of artwork and thank you, Bliss Kohlmyer, for restaging it to the USF dancers. 

click to enlarge Motions on the Mobius Strip - Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Motions on the Mobius Strip
The opening act after intermission was Motions on the Mobius Strip. Choreographed by Kristin O'Neal in collaboration with the dancers, this was another fluid piece. Deep blue costumes helped the imagery of long, emotional movements. The passion and articulation of the dancers shoed in every step. Another seemingly abstract modern piece that some may not understand, but intriguing nonetheless. I find this piece especially interesting because it incorporates choreography from the dancers themselves. 

Le Corsaire Pas de Trois - Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Amanda Clark, USF Dance
Le Corsaire Pas de Trois

Next came the classical ballet addition to the concert: Le Corsaire Pas de Trois. One of the most famous in ballet repertoire, it was performed by three dancers and portrayed the story of a pirate and his slave rescuing a Greek slave girl from a Pasha's harem (whatever that means.) Basically, this piece shows a technically impeccable balletic celebration and was skillfully performed.

The final piece, Playground Power: The Year is 2050 was the outlier of the show (in a good way!) Bliss Koehlmeyer created this piece as a futuristic, fun play on the struggle to be the best. The dancers took turns pushing others down, getting pushed down, and being part of the uniform crowd, “playing” together carelessly as whistles blew and balls bounced around stage. There is definitely underlying symbolism here of power and dominance, but overall, it is a refreshing and fun performance that left the audience in laughter. 

After this brief synopsis, I know you're jumping out of your chair to go see the show. You still have three chances to make that happen. Get tickets here or at the door. Have fun and enjoy the show!