The Winter Dance Concert opened in Yulman Theater yesterday, and if you’re going to see it this weekend, be forewarned: It’s smokin’ hot.
The show lived up to its name — “Action!” — in dress rehearsal on Monday, bringing just about an hour and a half of nonstop (you guessed it) action.
Miryam Moutillet’s “Action!” began with a piece inspired by the film “Mission Impossible,” and its theatrical appeal was undeniable. Dancers snuck around the theater, which was blacked out, wearing white-light headlamps.
One of the coolest moments in the piece was when the dancers all switched the colors of their headlamps to red, in unison. The piece lagged a little in the middle, but picked back up at the end. The high-intensity moments in the “Mission Impossible” piece were definitely the most memorable.
The next piece in the show was “Hunger Games” themed, and the dancers exhibited all the grace and strength that you would expect from Katniss Everdeen. They moved in all the right ways at all the right times. In particular, Giorgia Comeau ’16 shone in this piece, and its most powerful moment came when Comeau lifted Brianna Caruccio ’16 onto her shoulders, clearly paying homage to Katniss and Rue. May the odds be ever in your favor, Comeau and Caruccio.
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the third piece, featured iffy costuming and vertigo-inducing video projections. The dancing itself was very well done, but it was also a little cognitively dissonant to have a piece inspired by a movie about Asian culture wherein none of the dancers was Asian.
Fourth in the lineup was “Slumdog Millionaire,” which was done in two parts. The first part was tap, and it was reminiscent of an intricate game of Dance Dance Revolution — but in a good way. The costumes were an interesting fusion of harem pants and shiny lyrca that gave off a vaguely robotic feel, which went well with the DDR-style dancing.
Next up was a duet between Giorgia Comeau and Marcus Rogers, the show’s dance captain, inspired by “Forrest Gump.” Comeau was en pointe and she was, as always, on point. Comeau was stunning, and Rogers was an excellent partner, with all the emotionality you might expect from “Forrest Gump” themed piece. Their costumes were both perfect.
“Pink Panther,” the sixth piece of the evening, was funny and adorable — everything you could want out of a “Pink Panther” themed piece. The black catsuits with the Barbie-pink gloves and lit up rings were the perfect costumes, and David Thai ’17 was hysterical as Inspector Clouseau. The quintessential Inspector Clouseau-style magnifying glass gimmick at the end of the piece was executed perfectly.
“The Fifth Element” was confusing for me, probably because I have never seen “The Fifth Element,” but it left me with a lot of questions, most of which were, simply, “What is happening right now?” The piece turned started off with a few people in very strange costumes doing a style of dance that I couldn’t quite pinpoint, and then turned into a balletic piece set to Italian classical music, which turned back into a dance with a few people in very strange costumes doing a style of dance that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. It was very weird, but very interesting.
The “Twilight ‘New Moon’” piece was excellent. The dancers were phenomenal — balletic and graceful — and the costumes were stunning.
The “James Bond” piece, the penultimate piece of the evening, was, simply put, amazing. Gerardo Reyes ’15 with a solo as James Bond? Perfection — the cocky, slightly snarky eyebrow raise said it all.
The portion of the “James Bond” piece that was set to “Skyfall” was slightly less smooth than I would have hoped, but Marisa Lieberman ’15 on the silks was still very impressive. Despite a few shaky moments, Lieberman was extraordinarily graceful, and her splits were superb.
The final piece of the evening, “Burlesque,” stole the show. The first half of the piece featured lingerie-inspired costumes and chair dancing. There was a booty shake at the very beginning of the first half of the piece that was absolutely awe-inspiring. And, at the risk of sounding repetitive, Giorgia Comeau was amazing.
The three dancers in the second half of “Burlesque” were equally as visually stunning as those in the first half. They were decked out in fringe and lace, which only enhanced their movements, including a particularly interesting move that can only be described as “the J. Lo sex crawl from the ‘Booty’ music video.”
After watching the “Burlesque” piece, I can safely say that the women of Union’s Department of Theater and Dance have booties that just don’t quit.
The liveliness of the dance concert was aided by its amazing audiovisual effects — videos were projected onto a giant screen throughout all of the dance numbers — and its beautiful lighting design, provided by Robert Bovard and the ADA-117: “Fundamentals of Stage Lighting Design” class.
But the most memorable aspects of the dance concert, aside from the actual dancing, were Brittney Belz’s costumes. From fringe to fishnets, Belz’s costumes were almost completely flawless. And where can I get one of those black catsuits?