“Evolution of Dance’” covers all genres
The room hummed with excitement as performers lined the overhead balconies practicing their choreography, and spectators packed into Levin Ballroom on Thursday evening for the annual Fall Adagio Dance Company show, titled “Evolution Of Dance.”
Adagio is the largest organization at the University dedicated to dance and is entirely student-run. The show is its largest event of the semester, but Adagio hosts another eclectic mix of student talents in the spring, as well as Dance Marathon, an annual fundraiser for the Boston Children’s Hospital. Adagio was described by co-presidents Arnold Barbeiro ’16 and Eunice Choe ’17 in the program as a place where all Brandeis students “show their passion, or find a new one, in a supportive environment while fostering a sense of dedication, perseverance, and creativity.”
The event showcased a whopping 27 performances, including performances from Brandeis companies other than Adagio, and dance troupes from Simmons College and Bentley University. The show was dominated by modern dance, but tap, jazz, ballet and hip hop numbers also peppered the line-up.
After some witty commentary from emcees Harris Cohen ’16 and Dan Rozel ’16, the Adagio Dance Ensemble opened the show with a low-key yet intense number choreographed by Julie Joseph ’18 to Marian Hill’s “Got It.” The group closed the show with “Heart Cry,” featuring soft flowing movements punctuated by limbs snapping into place dramatically in time with the music, choreographed by Lori Shapiro ’17 and Emma Hanselman ’18.
Though the show traversed multiple genres, “Gibberish” was eclectic in and of itself — jazz, tap and hip hop numbers rolled into one. It’s hard to imagine such different genres cohering together in one performance, but the group impressively performed all three genres in a single song and managed to strikingly tie the three together.
Many of the dances broke the mold of Adagio’s traditional modern styles. “Madonna” incorporated the creative use of vogue magazines covers into their dance, and “What I Want” added international flair to the set with a toe-tapping French song called “Je Veux” by Zaz.
Appearances from other dance groups were some of the most exciting of the night. Kaos Kids, a Brandeis hip hop dance troupe, evoked whistles and cheers from the audience with their dynamic, blast-from-the-past mix of Missy Elliot, Destiny’s Child and Trevor Jackson, among others. A favored troupe among Brandeisians, everyone expects the Kaos Kids to bring their all, and Thursday night was no exception.
Hooked On Tap put out an especially high-energy performance to the song, “Move a Little Faster.” Choreographed by Emily Cohen ’17 and Lori Shapiro ’17, all of the dancers were smiling ear-to-ear throughout the entire routine.
The newly created Brandeis Ballet Company also performed, in a number choreographed by Michelle Dennis ’18 that fit no particular theme, but acted as an empty page for audience interpretation.
Brandeis’s Israeli Dance group B’yachad also made an appearance in what were by leaps and bounds the best costumes of the night — red and gold silk outfits circling about the stage as the dancers clapped to the rhythm of the music and their formations filled the stage.
The biggest surprise of the night came in the performance “Randamonium” by the Stop Motion Dance Crew, a hip hop group started in 2013 by four students who were first-years at the time. After performing together as a group in Culture X, “we realized our potential to work together as crew members and strived to become an established group that would reach out to fellow students with a similar passion,” said Yoon Jae Lee ’17, one of the group’s current members, in an email to the Justice. The group popped locked, and “bbjoyed” in sync with their own flavor of hip-hop that took a “beat-based and lyrical approach,” according to Lee.
For Barbiero, the theme of the show accurately described the performances of the night. “‘Evolution’ connotes personal growth. I believe a lot of the stories told through the dances in this semester’s show spoke a lot to development of character,” he explained in an email to the Justice. “Some dances focused on aspects of confidence and others on uncertainty, but, all in all, I believe the search for the courage to let the true self shine through was at the root of each of these dances.”
—Editor’s Note: Rebecca Lantner ’16 is an editor, and Brooke Granovsky and Anna Stern are staff writers.
An earlier photo caption stated that Lori Shapiro '17, Julie Joseph '18 and Hannah Brooks '16 choreographed "Gibberish." Shapiro did not choreograph "Gibberish," but Deesha Patel '16 did.